Dinnertime Prayer For Those Who Are Hungry
Does God Answer Our Prayers?
By Marilyn Adamson
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Have you ever known someone who really trusts God? When I was an atheist, I had a good friend who prayed often. She would tell me every week about something she was trusting God to take care of.
And every week I would see God do something unusual to answer her prayer.
Do you know how difficult it is for an atheist to observe this week after week? After a while, “coincidence” begins to sound a very weak argument.
So why would God answer my friend's prayers? The biggest reason is that she had a relationship with God. She wanted to follow God. And she actually listened to what he said.
In her mind, God had the right to direct her in life, and she welcomed him doing just that! When she prayed for things, it was a natural part of her relationship with God. She felt very comfortable coming to God with her needs, her concerns, and whatever issues were current in her life.
Furthermore, she was convinced, from what she read in the Bible, that God wanted her to rely on him that.
She pretty much exhibited what this statement from the Bible says, “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.”1 “For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer…”2
So, Why Doesn't God Answer Everyone's Prayers?
It may be because they don't have a relationship with God. They may know that God exists, and they might even worship God from time to time. But those who never seem to have their prayers answered probably don't have a relationship with him.
Further, they have never received from God complete forgiveness for their sin. What does that have to do with it you ask? Here is an explanation. “Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God.
Your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear.”3
It's pretty natural to feel that separation from God. When people begin to ask God for something, what usually takes place? They begin with, “God, I really need your help with this problem…” And then there's a pause, followed by a restart… “I realize that I'm not a perfect person, that I actually have no right to ask you for this…
” There's an awareness of personal sin and failure. And the person knows that it's not just them; that God is aware of it too. There's a feeling of, “Who am I kidding?” What they may not know is how they can receive God's forgiveness for all their sin. They might not know that they can come into a relationship with God so that God will hear them.
This is the foundation for God answering your prayer.
How Does Prayer Work?
You must first begin a relationship with God. Here's why. Imagine that a guy named Mike asks the president of Princeton University to co-sign a car loan for him.
If Mike doesn't personally know the president of Princeton, that car loan is not going to happen.
Yet, if the daughter of this president asked her dad to co-sign a car loan for her, it would be no problem. Relationship matters.With God, when the person is actually a child of God, when the person belongs to God, he knows them and hears their prayers. Jesus said, “I am the good shepherd. I know my sheep and my sheep know me…my sheep listen to my voice. I know them and they follow me. I give them eternal life and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them my hand.”4
When it comes to God then, do you really know him and does he know you? Do you have a relationship with him that warrants God answering your prayers? Or is God pretty distant, pretty much just a concept in your life? If God is distant, or you're not sure that you know God, here is how you can begin a relationship with him right now: Getting Connected.
Will God Definitely Answer Your Prayer?
For those who do know him and rely on him, Jesus seems to be wildly generous in his offer: “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you.”5 To “remain” in him and have his words remain in them means they conduct their lives aware of him, relying on him, listening to what he says.
Then they're able to ask him whatever they want. Here is another qualifier: “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us — whatever we ask — we know that we have what we asked of him.
“6 God answers our prayers according to his will (and according to his wisdom, his love for us, his holiness, etc.).
Where we trip up is assuming we know God's will, because a certain thing makes sense to us! We assume that there is only one right “answer” to a specific prayer, assuming certainly THAT would be God's will. And this is where it gets tough. We live within the limits of time and limits of knowledge.
We have only limited information about a situation and the implications of future action on that situation. God's understanding is unlimited. How an event plays out in the course of life or history is only something he knows. And he may have purposes far beyond what we could even imagine.
So, God is not going to do something simply because we determine that it must be his will.
What Does It Take? What is God Inclined to Do?
Pages and pages could be filled about God's intentions toward us. The entire Bible is a description of the kind of relationship God wants us to experience with him and the kind of life he wants to give us. Here are just a few examples:
“…the Lord longs to be gracious to you. He rises to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice.
Blessed are all who wait for [trust] him!”7 Did you catch that? someone rising his chair to come to your help, “He rises to show you compassion.” “As for God, his way is perfect…He is a shield for all who take refuge in him.”8 “The Lord delights in those who fear [reverence] him, who put their hope in his unfailing love.”9
However, God's greatest display of his love and commitment to you is this: Jesus said, “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends,”10 which is what Jesus did for us. And so, “If God is for us, who can ever be against us? Since God did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won't God, who gave us Christ, also give us everything else?”11
What about “Unanswered” Prayer?
Certainly people get sick, even die; financial problems are real, and all sorts of very difficult situations can come up. What then?
God tells us to give our concerns to him. Even as the situation remains dismal, “Cast all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you.”12 The circumstances may look control, but they aren't. When the whole world seems to be falling apart, God can keep us together. This is when a person can be very grateful that they know God.
“The Lord is near. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
“13 God may provide solutions, resolutions to the problem WAY beyond what you imagined possible. Probably any Christian could list examples this in their own lives. But if the circumstances do not improve, God can still give us his peace in the midst of it.
Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.”14
It is at this point (when circumstances are still tough) that God asks us to continue to trust him — to “walk by faith, not by sight” the Bible says. But it's not blind faith. It is the very character of God.
A car traveling on the Golden Gate Bridge is fully supported by the integrity of the bridge. It doesn't matter what the driver may be feeling, or thinking about, or discussing with someone in the passenger seat.
What gets the car safely to the other side is the integrity of the bridge, which the driver was willing to trust.
In the same way, God asks us to trust his integrity, his character…his compassion, love, wisdom, righteousness on our behalf. He says, “I have loved you with an everlasting love, therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you.”15 “Trust in him at all times, O people. Pour out your heart before him. God is a refuge for us.”16
God has offered to answer the prayers of his children (those who have received him into their lives and seek to follow him). He asks us to take any concerns to him in prayer and he will act upon it according to his will.
As we deal with difficulties we are to cast our cares on him and receive from him a peace that defies the circumstances. The basis for our hope and faith is the character of God himself.
The better we know him, the more apt we are to trust him.
For more on the character of God, please see “Who is God?” or other articles on this site. The reason we pray is God's character. The first prayer God answers is your prayer to begin a relationship with God.
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Footnotes: (1) 1 John 5:14 (2) 1 Peter 3:12 (3) Isaiah 59:1,2 (4) John 10:14,27-28 (5) John 15:7 (6) 1 John 5:14,15 (7) Isaiah 30:18 (8) Psalms 18:30 (9) Psalms 147:11 (10) John 15:13 (11) Romans 8:32 (12) 1 Peter 5:7 (13) Philippians 4:5-7 (14) John 14:27 (15) Jeremiah 31:3 (rsv) (16) Psalms 62:8
About the author
Best Dinnertime Rules for Kids
Written by Leah Campbell on November 5, 2018
Giving children choices with limits during meals helps them form healthy eating habits beyond the kitchen table. Here’s how.
Share on Pinterest There are four parental feeding styles, but only one is good for your kids’ health.
Most parents would probably agree that mealtimes with kids can be… challenging.
We want our children to be healthy and have balanced nutrition. We also want to know our efforts in the kitchen haven’t been a total waste.
But figuring out how to best accomplish those goals can sometimes prove harder than we ever thought it would be.
CNN recently published a piece about the four different feeding styles most parents embrace. Those feeding styles include:
This is a parent-centered style of eating. Mom and Dad make all the rules, and the child is expected to comply. It doesn’t matter if the child is full or has a true aversion to one of the options currently on their plate.
The child gets no say in how much of each food option they’re allowed. Parents force their child to clean their plate or take a set number of bites before they’re allowed to leave the table or have a dessert.
This style veers more into child-centered feeding. Parents allow the child to have anything they want to eat whenever they want it. Perhaps a parent says, “You want McDonald’s for dinner tonight? Great, let’s go!” or “Cookies for breakfast? Sure, why not!”
There are no boundaries or rules. Instead, the child is allowed to lead the way.
Parents following this style may also be more ly to reward good behavior, performance, or grades with food, such as ice cream for scoring a goal or cake for earning straight A’s.
Parents who embrace a neglectful feeding style are generally uninvolved in their child’s food choices. They may not shop for food regularly or actively put meals on the table.
When they do prepare a meal for their child, it can be sporadic and unexpected. Most of the time, children raised in this feeding style have to learn to fend for themselves.
Authoritative (‘love with limits’)
Parents embracing this style might give children a choice before preparing a meal. They may say things , “Would you rather have chicken tacos or spaghetti tonight?”
They consider their child’s preferences when preparing food, but once that meal is made, that’s the only option available. There’s no skipping dinner for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich later.
There’s also no fighting over which foods on the table should be eaten or in what quantities they should be consumed. The child gets to make those choices, filling their plate with what they want to eat and ending the meal when they’re full.Over the years, a fair amount of research on these various feeding styles has been done, examining the impact each can have on the health of children.
And it turns out, three of the four can contribute to a host of eating issues for children as they grow.
The authoritarian feeding style has been found to restrict a child’s ability to listen to and recognize their own hunger and fullness cues.
Kids raised with this feeding style are also more ly to struggle with weight issues and an inability to stop eating when they’re no longer hungry. The pressure to clean their plates, even past the point of fullness, lasts well into adulthood.
Children raised under a permissive feeding style tend to struggle more with creating healthy food boundaries. They’re more ly to prefer snack or junk foods and meals with limited nutritional value. They have a hard time regulating their food intake.
The neglectful feeding style can contribute to food insecurity. These kids don’t know how or when their next meal is coming, so they may become more obsessed with food and prone to overeating throughout their lives.
Childhood nutrition expert and registered dietitian Jill Castle tells Healthline that the authoritative or “love with limits” style is really the only feeding style associated with fostering a healthy relationship with food.
Through this style, children are taught to listen to their hunger and fullness cues. They’re given the ability to form their own taste preference but are still provided boundaries around mealtimes and eating.
“The parent is in charge of the structure of meals and snacks,” she explained. “They set the eating times and what will be served with the clear boundary of the kitchen being closed outside those set times. But then the child is in charge of two different things: what they will eat, what’s offered, and how much they will eat.”This is important, Castle says, because “the child is in charge of their own body, and the parent is really just the provider of the meal.”
Share on PinterestUnhealthy feeding styles can affect kids well into adulthood. Getty Images
Mark Corkins, a pediatric gastroenterologist with Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, told Healthline the attitudes surrounding feeding styles have changed because science and experience have allowed us to recognize the pitfalls in previously embraced styles.
“Before it was the ‘clean plate club,’” he said. “Parents would tell their kids about the starving children in Africa to get them to finish their meals. No one wanted to waste. It was bad because it created this culture where you had to eat all your food, even if you were full. And that has probably contributed in some ways to the current obesity problem.”
Castle also sees the opposite in her office.
“I have a lot of families who don’t want to say no to their children when it comes to food,” she said. “They don’t want to ignore their child’s cravings. They feel they’re being mean. And I get that, too. They are reacting to their own childhoods, and they are trying to find a different way — often opposite of how they were raised.”
Yet, the end result is just a different side of the same coin.
“We have a lot of parents who are trying to do their best, but they’re guessing most of the time. They are using the latest fad diet or feeding approach, and it’s really hard on everyone,” Castle said.
So what sets the “love with limits” approach apart from the rest?
It takes the fight parents’ hands. You don’t have to worry about how much your child is eating or negotiate one more bite of vegetables. You put the food on the table and allow them to accept responsibility for what and how much they eat.
Children get to develop their own taste preferences, usually venturing out into trying more food options since they don’t feel pressured or forced. They also learn to listen better to their own bodies.
But what if a child refuses to eat at mealtimes, only to complain about being hungry hours later?
Castle says to let them be hungry.
It’s advice that might make most parents gasp at first, but it may be more helpful in the long run. After all, one missed meal probably isn’t going to hurt them. But learning from that consequence might just be exactly what needs to happen to convince them to eat the next time a meal is served.
Corkins says a big part of avoiding those mealtime fights has a lot to do with parents setting an example from the beginning.
“They’re less ly to complain about eating peas if they see you doing it first,” Corkins explained.
Corkins says his youngest daughter and him have a game where he tries to steal peas off her plate. The result is that she guards and protects them and is happy to eat her vegetables.
“Some parents arrange them on a plate, some make smiley faces. It doesn’t really matter. The point is, make it fun. But also, set the example by eating in the way you hope to see them eat,” he said.If your child is already a picky eater, he suggests continuing to offer new foods until they accept those foods. Keep putting carrots on the table, and keep showing your own willingness to eat them, until your child decides to give them a chance. Then you can move on to something else.
For parents hoping to improve their feeding game, Castle recommends reading Ellyn Satter’s “Division of Responsibility in Feeding.”
Castle also has a podcast with episodes dedicated to handling various feeding issues. One of her recent episodes focuses specifically on finding the perfect responses to a child who s to pick a mealtime fight.
Her advice includes remaining unemotional and detached, refusing to engage in the fight, and telling the child simply, “This is what we’re having tonight. You don’t have to eat, but you do have to sit at the table until we’re done.”
Speaking of sitting at the table, Castle’s advice is to try to do that as a family at least three to five meals a week.
“It doesn’t have to be dinner. It can be breakfast or lunch or snacks. But what we know is that kids learn how to make good food choices by watching their parents do the same. And that happens best around the table. The research tells us that at least three to five times a week really does make a difference,” she said.
15 Best Non Denominational Prayers for Meals
Meals are an important aspect to spending time together as a family. If you are wanting to grow closer to Christ, reciting a daily devotion before you eat is just one way to seek blessings and give your thanks. Here is a look at some great non denominational prayers for meals you can share.
For what we are about to receive let us be truly thankful …to those who planted the crops …to those who cultivated the fields
…to those who gathered the harvest.
For what we are about to receive let us be truly thankful
to those who prepared it and those who served it.
In this festivity let us remember too those who have no festivity those who cannot share this plenty those whose lives are more affected than our own by war, oppression and exploitation
those who are hungry, sick and cold
In sharing in this meal let us be truly thankful for the good things we have for the warm hospitality
and for this good company.
Let us think thrice while we are gathering here for this meal. First, let us think of the people we are with today, and make the most of the pleasure of sharing food and drink together. Then, let us think of the people who made the food and drink and brought it to us, who serve us and wait on us, and who clear up and clean up after us.
Finally, let us think of all the people all over the world, members with us in the human family, who will not have a meal today.
We are thankful for the food on this table. We are thankful for this time together. Our thoughts go out to family and friends;
We hope that they are safe and well.
For the meal we are about to eat, for those that made it possible, and for those with whom we are about to share it,
we are thankful.
Let us enjoy good food and good drink, And let us thank all whose efforts have set them before us; Let us enjoy good companionship, And let us each one be good company to the others; Let us enjoy ourselves, without guilt,
But let us not forget that many are less fortunate.
We receive this food in gratitude to all beings Who have helped to bring it to our table, And vow to respond in turn to those in need
With wisdom and compassion.
Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can,
and the wisdom to know the difference.
The fruit of silence is prayer. The fruit of prayer is faith. The fruit of faith is love. The fruit of love is service.
The fruit of service is peace.
I slept and dreamt that life was joy; I awoke and saw that life was service;
I acted and behold, service was joy!
For the food that nourishes our bodies . . . for the fellowship here that feeds our souls . . . for all things good and beautiful with which our lives are filled . . . we give our thanks today.
Teach us to use our freedom to help to preserve and strengthen the freedom of all; By respecting and upholding its laws; By supporting our law enforcement agencies; By informing ourselves on current issues; By voting regularly and wisely; and By honoring the rights of other people;
And now bless this food to our use and us to Your service. Amen.
Bless this day keep me safe and whole
kind and compassionate
Bless my path today Help me to act with wisdom
and live in perpetual gratitude
Bless my human family who are everywhere & everyone Bless the creatures and plants
May all life be blessed on this day
We bless this food before us, May we be grateful for our meal, our family, our home and our blessings, Bless those who do not have enough to eat,
May they soon eat their fill and be blessed with enough.
We are blessed today, with enough to eat, May we be grateful. We are blessed with clothes to wear, May we be grateful. We are blessed with shelter from the elements, May we be grateful. We are very well blessed today. May we remember that there are many people who do not have these blessings.
May we be grateful enough to help others when we can.
Let There Be Peace on Earth and let it begin with me. Let There Be Peace on Earth, the peace that we long to see! With Earth as our mother, family all are we.
Let us walk with each other in perfect harmony.
Let peace begin with me. Let this be the moment now. With ev’ry breath I take, let this be my solemn vow; To take each moment and live each moment in peace eternally!
Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me!
Here is a great example to a reflection of praying before a special meal such as Thanksgiving. Remembering to give praise before you dig in to eat is an important aspect of showing gratitude and thanking the Lord for all that he has provided you with.
About the Author of this Blog Post
Crystal Ayres has served as our editor-in-chief for the last five years. She is a proud veteran, wife and mother. The goal of ConnectUs is to publish compelling content that addresses some of the biggest issues the world faces. If you would to reach out to contact Crystal, then go here to send her a message.