For generations people have assumed that men are the ones to say “Grace” or “Pray” over meals, Especially during the Holiday Season. Throughout my childhood and into my adulthood, it appears that it has Always been the men who are called upon to pray (unless there were no men in the home.) To be honest, throughout those times I never really gave it much thought, until more recently as Jesus Himself spoke to me and said, “Encourage My Daughters” in the roles He has called them to, not only in ministry, but also in life and in marriage.
We are going to take a look at what the Bible (the Word of God) says regarding Prayer, or Giving Thanks during meals and that Nowhere does it say that men are to do the praying!
Break The Tradition
Over the last few years or so, I began noticing that only the “men” were called on to pray over meals during family events and special occasions, and with the knowledge I have regarding God’s Word and the Role of Women, it began to trouble me. Maybe it’s because I’m a Woman Pastor (20 years in Full-time Ministry) of which there has been from time to time great resistance (see my blog, “All Are One In Christ Jesus” and many of my other writings regarding Women in Ministry and what God says about it.)
Another reason why I believe it began to trouble me (and became increasingly so) is based on what Jesus said to me, and the fact that God was trying to get my attention to look in the scriptures regarding this subject in efforts to reveal the error of this long-time “Tradition” that only men can pray, and how this belief is unscriptural, when in fact the Lord has called both women and men, girls and boys to “Give Thanks” not only for our food, but in ALL things.
Can this Tradition be Broken? Yes!
Recently, my husband Rick asked me to pray on two occasions, (as in both of these instances men asked him to pray) one during a Sabbath meal and the other while staying at a bed and breakfast in Chester, SC while on our trip to visit our family in PA. Keep in mind, I did not ask nor prompt him to ask me to pray, I believe the Lord led him to help lead in breaking this “Tradition” by asking me to pray. I remember both instances quite well. As I said, the first was during a family meal, where one of the men who usually prays was not present, so another man at the event asked my husband to pray, I was out in the yard and one of the girls came to get me saying, “It’s time to come in they’re going to pray” so I got up and went in where everyone was gathered, and my husband was standing there and as I entered the door, he said, “Honey, do you want to pray?” (He KNEW I would) and when he said those words, I heard one of the women present say something along the lines, “Ooooo.” Why would she express a bit of surprise in her voice? Because my Husband began to Break the Tradition!
The problem with many Traditions or error in doctrines, is because people do not study the Word of God on the subject, whether it be Women and their Role within the church and in marriage, as God clearly states that we are “Equal” not only in a Marriage but also in the “Body of Christ” as stated in Galatians 3:28, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, neither slave nor free, Neither Male nor Female, for ALL ARE ONE IN CHRIST JESUS.“
There are also No bible verses that say that men are the “head” of the household, as many believe to be. This is Why the Word of God says to “Study” this is why I “Study” to see if these things are true. There has always been error in the church, because people believe what they’ve been told, rather than getting their Bible and digging for Truth, Thy Word is Truth, Jesus says in John 17:17, Not Tradition, Not Religion, Not what you’ve “heard” all your life, Thy WORD IS TRUTH.
Many also do not realize that the Bible says, there are False Doctrines: Doctrines of Men and Doctrines of Demons. Mark 7:7, Jesus says, “In vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’ And, 1 Timothy 4:1, “Now the Holy Spirit tells us clearly that in the last times some will turn away from the true faith; they will follow deceptive spirits and teachings that come from demons.”
So, what Does the Bible say about Praying over Food and Giving Thanks?
Deuteronomy 8:10, (This prayer is given “after” those who have eaten their meal)
When you have eaten your fill, be sure to praise the LORD your God for the good land he has given you.
Let them praise the Lord for his great love
and for the wonderful things he has done for them.
For he satisfies the thirsty
and fills the hungry with good things.
Jesus Gave Thanks
Luke 9:16, Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke them. Then he gave them to the disciples to distribute to the people.
I like what my husband Pastor Rick pointed out, “He (Jesus) gave thanks for the bread and fish because he was the only one who believed it (everyone else did not believe because Philip, doubted, saying, How are we going to feed all these people? (as there were approximately 5,000 men present, not including the women and children, which meant there may have been thousands more)
Nowhere in scripture did Jesus ask anyone specific to pray, say a blessing, or give thanks over meals, but we do see that we as individuals are to “Give Thanks,” not only for our food, but in All things:
1 Timothy 4:1-5, “Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons, through the insincerity of liars whose consciences are seared, who forbid marriage and require abstinence from foods that God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, for it is made holy by the word of God and prayer.”
Who is called to Give Thanks? “Those who Believe (not gender specific) and Know the Truth…”
Ladies, I encourage you to Break the Tradition, and set the example for our Daughters and Granddaughters that as Women of God we can Lift up our Voices, while Raising our Turkey’s toward Heaven and Give Thanks to God! Amen!