Q:

What is a short prayer to say before dinner?

A:

Quick Answer

"Bless this food and the hands that prepared it" is a short, traditional prayer to say before eating that has minimal religious affiliation. Other options for briefly praying before a meal depend on the religious beliefs and individual makeup of the people saying the prayer.

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Full Answer

All before-meal prayers traditionally acknowledge thankfulness for the meal and often incorporate a religious belief. Websites oriented toward particular denominations offer a variety of appropriate prayers. Families that include members of different faith traditions might choose a prayer that makes no reference to a specific religion. These prayers are suitable when guests with varying or no religious beliefs are present.

Another option when non-Christians are present is to choose a prayer mentioning "the Lord" or "God" rather than Jesus. Asking for a blessing on the food and the individuals around the table can also substitute for referring to a particular deity.

Families with younger children may prefer a prayer that rhymes and is easily memorized. These prayers can become family traditions passed down from generation to generation. One short, easily-memorized family prayer is: "We thank you, Lord, for happy hearts, for rain and sunny weather. We thank you, Lord, for this our food, and that we are together."

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