John Piper wrote the following meal time prayers for his own family to use. The three longer ones have been used by his family for over 20 years, and all the children know the prayers by heart now so that they are able to say them together without reading.
For example, in August of 2001, when Benjamin, John’ second oldest son, was married in Brazil, John was asked to say a table grace at a large family gathering in Fortaleza. Instead of praying by himself, he said, “I think what I would like to do is ask all my family (Noel, Karsten, Benjamin, Abraham, Barnabas, Talitha) to pray with me the evening prayer that we have used during all their growing up years.” Then they all recited the prayer. The people were so moved that the whole family could say the prayer together in unison that they asked John to pray it again slowly and have it translated in Portuguese one phrase at a time. It proved to be a wonderful witness for Christ to all the people there.
Lord Jesus, thank you for this day, And for the night of rest, And for this food, and for the way That we are always blessed.
Lord Jesus, Thank you for these gifts And what each one displays; For your own steady love which lifts Our hearts in midday praise.
Lord Jesus, come now to our meal, And bless to us this food; Where faith is weak, dear Lord, reveal That all you give is good.
Our Father, every day you give The food by which our bodies live. For this we thank you from our heart And pray that as we this day start, You might allow our eyes to see Your endless generosity. And grant that when we thus are filled, We may do only what you’ve willed.
We’re grateful, Father, for this hour To rest and draw upon your power Which you have shown in sun and rain And measured out to every grain. Let all this food which you have made And graciously before us laid Restore our strength for this next hour That we may have your fullest power.
How faithful, Father, is your care; Again as always food is there. Again you have set us before A meal we pray will mean much more Than single persons filled with food; Let there be, Lord, a loving mood. And as you make our bodies new, Come now and feed our oneness too.