Saying grace or giving thanks?

“God is great, God is good, let us thank him for our food.” It’s heard around millions of dinner tables every evening. A few hours later it’s followed by “Now I lay me down to sleep …”

These are good prayers for teaching our children a habit, but there comes a point when the relationship has to grow. For many folks, this is their communication with their Creator. Scripted, rote, boring and impersonal. Prayer shouldn’t be like this. It’s communication with our LORD and Savior. It needs to be personal. God desires a relationship and you can’t have a relationship if you’re rushing through the same words night after night. Maybe you let your kids take turns saying grace; I do. Some of them rush like fools right through it. Others rush them through it, “Hurry up! I’m hungry.” Taking time to give thanks for what you have is pretty important, especially when you wouldn’t have it without the one you’re thanking.
Would you believe there are people in America who call themselves Christians because they say this prayer every evening? Christianity isn’t a religion. It’s a relationship. Religion involves specific practices and rituals. Relationship involves communication.
We talk to God through prayer. He talks to us through his Word, the Bible.
We all have someone we speak to in passing. That guy at the water cooler, the lady who takes your name at the barber shop. You say “hi” and “how are you,” but there’s no depth to what you say to each other. That’s how the “dinner prayer” is for you and God. Just passing a few words and moving on.
I’ve set a goal this year of teaching my children to pray from the heart. Do you have a goal for your prayer life?

2 thoughts on “Saying grace or giving thanks?

  1. I like this: “Christianity isn’t a religion. It’s a relationship.”

    And sometimes the familiar words become transcendant, too, when one is really speaking from and listening with the heart.

    A great joy I have had this year is that my preschool son has insisted on taking over saying grace. That’s not something I planned on, so what a gift indeed.

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