Bread of Life for the Soul, Food for the Body

Lucas_Cranach_(I)_-_Johannes_Bugenhagen[1].jpgO almighty God, merciful Father,
your Word keeps all the blessed
on the righteous path of your Son,
Jesus Christ our Lord.
Give us the true
bread of heaven for our souls,
that we may never experience
spiritual hunger,
just as you now feed your creatures
out of your pure mercy and love.
O Father,  may we enjoy all your gifts
with thanksgiving and contentment,
and keep us from gluttony
and all wrong desires.

Source: Johannes Bugenhagen, 1485-1558

Source of this version: Translated for A Collection of Prayers. German source: Gebetbuch, enthaltend die sämtlichen Gebete und Seufzer Martin Luther’s, ….Evangelischer Bücher-Verein, 1866, #39.

O allmächtiger Gott und barmherziger Vater, dessen Wort alle Gottseligen in rechter Straße deines Sohnes, unsers Herrn Jesu Christi, erhält, wir bitten dich um die rechte wahre Speise unsrer Seelen, damit wir nicht geistlichen Hunger empfinden, wie du uns denn jetzund aus lauter Gunst mit diesen Kreaturen am Leibe speisest. O Vater, wir bitten dich, du wollest schaffen, daß wir sie mögen genießen mit Danksagung und recht brauchen ohne Befleckung aller fleischlichen Lüste. Vater unser u. s. w.

Lord Jesus, Be Our Holy Guest

Lord Jesus, be our holy Guest,
Our morning Joy, our evening Rest;
And with our daily bread impart
Your love and peace to every heart. Amen.

Source: Slightly modified from “Forms of Grace before Meat,” The Book of Common Worship, Henry Van Dyke, editor, Presbyterian Board of Publication and Sabbath-School Work, 1906, p. 167.

According to The Catholic Prayer Book (Servant Books, 1986, p. 216), this prayer was used by President Dwight Eisenhower.

“Lord Jesus, be our holy Guest” may be based on a German prayer:

Wir bitten, Herr, sei unserm Haus
ein steter Gast, tagein, tagaus,
und hilf, dass wir der Gaben wert,
die deine Güte uns beschert.

A literal translation:

We pray, Lord, be in our house
a constant guest, day-in, day-out,
and grant that we be worthy of your gifts
which your mercy gives us.

Table Prayer Cube

Table Prayer Cube

Right click on this link to download a pdf.   Cut on the solid lines, fold on the dotted lines. Glue on the tabs. Completed cube looks like this:

Prayer Cube.jpg

I got this idea from a German table prayer cube I found on the Internet.

Information on the cube’s prayers can be found at the following links:

The Fruits of Earth Come from God’s Hand

Bread comes from grain,
grain grown in sun,
lit when creation
was begun.
The fruits of the earth
come from God’s hand.
May his light shine
in every land.

Source: Traditional German table prayer, freely translated for A Collection of Prayers © 2017

Das Brot vom Korn,
das Korn vom Licht,
das Licht aus Gottes

Die Frucht der Erde
aus Gottes Schein,
lass Licht auch werden
im Herzen mein.

A literal translation:

The bread from grain,
the grain from light,
the light from God’s countenance.
The fruits of the earth
are from God’s brilliance.
Let the light also
be in my heart.

Graces from the Book of Common Worship (1906)

The Lord make us grateful for all his mercies, and add his blessing, for Christ’s sake. Amen.

Almighty God who provides for us, nourish our souls with the Bread of Life in Jesus Christ. Amen.

Bless us, O Lord, as we bless you when we receive your gift of daily bread. Amen.

The Lord bless this food to our use and us to his service. Amen.

Lord, help us to receive all good things as from your hand and to use them to your praise. Amen.

Heavenly Father, make us thankful to you and mindful of others as we receive these blessings, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Father in heaven, sustain our bodies with this food, our hearts with true friendship, and our souls with your truth, for Christ’s sake. Amen.

Source: Slightly modified from “Forms of Grace before Meat,” The Book of Common Worship, Henry Van Dyke, editor, Presbyterian Board of Publication and Sabbath-School Work, 1906, p. 167.

Another prayer, “Lord Jesus, be our holy Guest” has been given its own page.