Nearly every Wednesday after school we offer a program at our church called “After School Jams”. Children preschool-6th grade come after school and have a snack, sing songs and learn about Jesus and how much he loves each one of them. Yesterday I was responsible for the lesson and I decided to incorporate Thanksgiving with saying grace. I had the preschool-1st grade group and we talked about the kind of prayers we say before our meals and before bedtime. Then we talked about how before Jesus fed the 5000 with 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish, he said Thanks to God. Then each of the kids told the group something they were thankful that God gave to them. The kids completed the lesson with a foam craft that said “Let us thank the Lord for his many blessings”. I reminded them that Thanksgiving is an excellent time to think about God and his many gifts that he has given us and to share that with our families. This lesson really got me thinking about my many, many blessings. The Lord has provided me with so much love throughout my life and I just don’t thank Him enough for that. I am also sad to admit that we don’t always thank God before each meal or even before we go to bed. It is usually one of the kids that reminds me. I get into the mechanics of getting the food on the table and getting everyone food on their plate and milk in their glass and usually by the time I sit down everyone is already eating. So, I am going to try to consciously stop and take a minute to thank God for our food and as I am laying in bed, thank God for the blessings he gave me this day.

At Bible Study Fellowship ( they handed out a lesson talking about giving thanks at mealtimes with your children. So, if you haven’t started saying grace with your children at mealtime, here are some examples to try:

Come Lord Jesus
Be our guest
Let these gifts
To us be blessed

For fruit and milk,
For bread and meat,
For all our food so good to eat
we thank you, God

Thank you, God
For food so good
Please help me do
The things I should.

Our children also like to throw in extra things like Thank you, God, for my brothers, or for my teachers, or for my mom and dad. I think the more personal you make it, the more likely your family will be to start this new tradition. If it just comes from memory it gets to the point where it is just words and has no meaning. But, the above prayers are a good place to start and a way to get comfortable praying if you haven’t ever prayed before. Saying grace at the table acknowledges that all things come from God and gives God a seat at your table. What an excellent way to bring calm to your meal. If you haven’t ever said “grace” please try it at your next meal. Fold your hands or hold hands around the table and thank God for all he has provided for your family.

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