Holding hands and praying at mealtimes was a given when I was growing up. I took this tradition for granted until I visited homes where no one purposefully paused to thank God for the food provided by His hands.
For those of us who still gather round the table at mealtimes and ask a blessing, it’s also a good opportunity to practice kitchen-table-intercession. Thanking God for our food is a perfect segue into asking the Lord to bless our governmental leaders, as we are commanded in I Timothy 1:1-2a, or to bring to God the people closest to our hearts: family, friends, or neighbors. It’s a great place to participate in the Great Commission, and ask His blessings on those people who have not heard about Jesus.
Earlier this year, while reading The Hiding Place to Dad, we observed that the Ten Boom family used mealtime gatherings to intercede for missionaries. I reminded Dad of my beloved Lolly, whom I prayed for when I was a child. Dad never failed to tenderly mention her in each mealtime prayer by thanking God for “Lolly’s blessings.” One day, desiring to know more about Lolly, I questioned him about her identity. He explained that his rendering of “all these blessings” as “all ‘ese blessings” came out sounding like “Lolly’s blessings” to my ears.
While thanking God for food at each meal is habitual, I have not always remembered to include prayer for others. A kitchen-table-prayer strategy was in order. I found just the thing at an office supply store: an acrylic sign holder to display pictures. Visual reminders of the people that I want God to bless encourage me to pray for more than the food.
It doesn’t take long to engage in kitchen-table-intercession—just long enough to utter, “And for Lolly’s blessings, we thank You.”
Pentecost Sunday, May 31, is the day that Southern Baptists have designated as a Day of Prayer and Fasting for those who have not heard of Jesus.”