He That Eateth And Prayeth Not Shall Be Damned
By: Brian A. Yeager
When God tells us or shows us to do something and we choose not to do so, there are severe consequences. Notice the following Scriptures: “Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse; A blessing, if ye obey the commandments of the LORD your God, which I command you this day: And a curse, if ye will not obey the commandments of the LORD your God, but turn aside out of the way which I command you this day, to go after other gods, which ye have not known… But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; Who will render to every man according to his deeds: To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life: But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile… For which things' sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience… In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power” (Deuteronomy 11:26-28, Romans 2:5-9, Colossians 3:6, and II Thessalonians 1:8-9).
We often show people that if they do not hear, believe, and obey the Gospel they’ll be damned (Mark 16:15-16). We explain to people that to show their love to God they have to obey Him (John 14:15 and I John 5:2-3). Therefore, it is clear that we understand the necessity of doing those things that God instructs us to do. Why is it that there are many people who understand these things, yet still fail to pray before they eat? Let me be very clear, such has even been a problem amongst brethren here at Sunrise and still may be. Are we not instructed (by command, example, and implication) to pray before we eat?
How Do We Know That God EXPECTS Us To Pray Before We Eat?
Notice what the Scriptures teach about praying BEFORE we eat: “And he commanded the multitude to sit down on the grass, and took the five loaves, and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed, and brake, and gave the loaves to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude. And they did all eat, and were filled: and they took up of the fragments that remained twelve baskets full… And he took the seven loaves and the fishes, and gave thanks, and brake them, and gave to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude… And it came to pass, as he sat at meat with them, he took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them… And Jesus took the loaves; and when he had given thanks, he distributed to the disciples, and the disciples to them that were set down; and likewise of the fishes as much as they would… And when he had thus spoken, he took bread, and gave thanks to God in presence of them all: and when he had broken it, he began to eat... He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks” (Matthew 14:19-20, Matthew 15:36, Luke 24:30, John 6:11, Acts 27:35, and Romans 14:6).
What would you think about eating unclean food? Did you know that prayer is part of what sanctifies your food? Notice: “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving: For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer” (I Timothy 4:1-5).
Besides the obvious Scriptures we’ve read through above, the fact is, we’re supposed to be a thankful people (I Thessalonians 5:18). Whether eating or not we should be thinking about our blessings and glorifying God in all things (Psalms 34:1, Philippians 4:6, and I Corinthians 10:31). The Psalmist said: “Unto thee, O God, do we give thanks, unto thee do we give thanks: for that thy name is near thy wondrous works declare… So we thy people and sheep of thy pasture will give thee thanks for ever: we will shew forth thy praise to all generations” (Psalms 75:1 and Psalms 79:13).
In reading these Scriptures and considering these points, how could any one of us eat without first giving thanks for that food? Think about this, how would you feel if we served the Lord’s Supper without having a prayer beforehand?
What If We Ate The Lord’s Supper Without Giving Thanks?
This Sunday, if the Lord’s Supper was served and no one gave thanks for the bread and fruit of the vine, how would you react? Wouldn’t you be disgusted? Wouldn’t you want to open your Bible and explain that we need to be offering thanks for the bread and the fruit of the vine (Matthew 26:26-29, Mark 14:22-25, Luke 22:19-20, and I Corinthians 11:23-27)? Wouldn’t you cry out that something false has just occurred since we all know we’re supposed to offer thanks for the bread and the fruit of the vine (James 4:17)?
Brethren, the Scriptures are just as clear about praying before every meal we eat as they are about praying before the Lord’s Supper. If we can see the error in not praying before partaking of the Lord’s Supper, we should be capable of seeing the error of not praying before every meal. Our reaction to the one should be just as strong as the other. Remember, we’re supposed to hate EVERY false way (Psalms 119:104 and Psalms 119:128).
We should never open our mouths to eat without first giving thanks. Moreover, we need to remind ourselves that we are supposed to be a thankful people for all things. Thus, let’s conclude by pondering this Scripture: “Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 5:20).
Volume 12 – Issue 41 - July 1st, 2012