Praying, Before & After
How many of you bow your heads and thank God before you receive your meals each day? In his first letter to Timothy, the apostle Paul told his young disciple that we are to receive our food with thanksgiving and to ask God to sanctify it through the means of prayer (I Timothy 4:4-5).
If this blessing of our meals is a habit within our households, chances are that it is a prayer that is prayed many times a week, since three meals a day times seven days equals twenty-one opportunities to thank God for the sustenance that He daily provides.
As members of the family of God in Christ, there is another meal that we take partake of each week, I am speaking of the meal in which the Bread of Life is broken for us, the Sunday sermon, our shared meal of spiritual sustenance.
I want to ask you; do you pray before you hear God’s Word preached each Sunday? Do you pray for the one who will deliver that sermon? Do you pray that, through the preaching, God will send His holy manna to feed and sustain the body of Christ? And then, do you pray following
that meal? Asking God to show you how to apply what it is that you have heard, so that the precious morsels will not be wasted?
The way we come to hear God’s Word and the way we go off after we have listened, matters. Unprepared hearts, like fallow ground, are not open to receive the implanting of the Word. It is through prayer that we also guard the seed that has been sown in our hearts, so that it might be cultivated and cared for so that it will bring forth an abundant harvest.
So, praying before we come to church on Sunday, prepares the soil of our hearts to receive the seeds of God’s Word, prepares the one who sows the seed that he might broadcast it well, and then guards the seed so that it might bring forth a crop of forty, sixty, eighty, and a hundred fold.
O, let us pray, both before and after this Sunday meal.