It was my delight to endorse this beauty of a book – A Spoonful of Grace: Mealtime Blessings in Bite-Sized Pieces by Annette Hubbell. Two minutes is all you need to read these short little mealtime prayers with those who gather around your table. Hubbell included 366 prayers with a series of Sunday Graces that offer a slightly longer devotional reading. These short “spoonfuls” of grace will enrich your mealtime prayers, and even your youngest family members will be able to participate. Find the book on Amazon or Barnes & Noble.
Annette is giving away a copy of the book to one of YOU! Leave a comment on this post to be entered. Does your family eat meals together? Or what’s your favorite memory of family mealtimes?
10 Reasons Why Families Who Say Grace Are Happier
guest post by Annette Hubbell
“Mom, I think saying grace makes the food taste better,” my daughter said to me the other day. “That’s probably not very scientific,” she went on to say, “but maybe it’s because when I do say grace it’s because I’m with people I love.” Then she thought a minute and said, “I have to start doing that when I’m by myself and see what happens!”
What do you think? Do you find that saying a prayer of thanks before a meal brings a sense of harmony or calmness to the table? Saying Grace before a meal does have many benefits—if it could be bottled or put in pill form, it’d be a best seller!
If you come together as a family for dinner—and a 2013 Welch’s Kitchen Table Report says most families eat dinner together most nights of the week—there are many reasons that a heartfelt prayer before a meal nourishes the heart, mind and soul, as well as the tummy. Here’s why:
1. It turns out that studies do show that saying grace with people you love—or even by yourself—shifts your attitude and that does make food taste better.
Ever have a good food experience when you’re sad or angry? Probably not. “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” (1 Corinthians 10:32)
2. Saying Grace means that—at least once every day—you acknowledge the presence of God in your life.
Thanking God is a great way to develop a relationship with him, and he is just waiting for you to ask him into your heart. “I am knocking at your door,” he says. “Just waiting for you to let me in.” (Matthew 7:7) Can’t you hear him say, “Let the miracles begin?”
3. Saying grace means that you take time to think of others, because a grace usually includes a request to watch over someone or a praise for a blessing.
Let’s face it, the world of the young is self-centered by definition. Thinking of others helps in the character building process. How well we relate to each other is critical in the development of all God’s children and their ability to carry out His will. Galatians 5:22-23 tells us that the fruit of [having] the Spirit [within you] is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
4. Saying grace together promotes benefits such as family bonding and greater accountability.
When you talk about things together, you It follows that when you share you get more than the stock yes, no, or ho-hum answer. Because your understanding of each other grows when you talk to each other, the better equipped you become to meet each other’s needs. “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father.” (John 14:12)
The Bible tells us to be ready to season our conversation with salt (Colossians 4:6). Another way of saying that is that we should be ready to act with grace, kindness, and be not quick to judge. Saying Grace provides opportunities to practice these things with each other.
Did you know that the more grateful you are the happier, healthier, kinder, and more likeable you are—and the better you sleep? “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13)
7. Saying grace demonstrates how the act of praying together lifts one’s own spirit; fosters praise; and increases mutual feelings of appreciation.
“A glad heart makes a cheerful face.” (Proverbs 15:13(a))
8. Saying grace reminds us that our food, as well as God’s countless other daily blessings, is a gift.
“May grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.” (2 Peter 1:2)
We don’t need to ask him to be with us; we need to be more mindful that he is always with us. Saying grace is another reminder of that. “I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20(b)
10. Saying grace, whether by yourself, or with your family, sows the seeds of a thankful attitude.
Being thankful for what you have fosters an attitude of wanting to make the world a better place and to give to others. It may seem an odd idea at first, but the more you give the more you get. God provides when you trust in Him. “Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.” (Luke 6:38)
Mealtime is the hub of family life. Prayer is the foundation of a Christian home. Those who eat together, and make their time together more than just about food, are happier, healthier, and more loving. Those who add a warm and loving grace know exactly what I’m talking about.
It’s not that adding a prayer of thanks is a cure for everything or in itself creates a life full of joy. (It certainly won’t stop siblings from arguing.) By making grace a part of your family mealtime, however, you open the door to possibilities unimagined. Regular family prayer heals, protects, strengthens family ties, teaches forgiveness, builds unity and brings the family closer together.
“If you make yourselves at home with me and my words are at home in you, you can be sure that whatever you ask will be listened to and acted upon (John 15:7).”
Some people think the meal is not complete without dessert. Perhaps we’d all be better off if we made grace our dessert and adopted the motto: Have Dessert First!
Scripture taken from the English Standard Version (ESV)
After a long career in public and private sector management, Annette Hubbell changed course and began life devoted to her more creative side as a writer, actor, and producer. She has an MBA from CSU San Marcos and a Certificate in Christian Apologetics from Biola University. She and her husband, Monte, have one daughter.