03 June 2007

Table prayers

We have been singing The Doxology at our table for the last few months as our grace. It is a nice way to thank God for our food and it teaches Annalivia a song she hears in church also. So far, she only joins in with the words, "host," "ghost", and "Amen."
I was reading one of my little books on table prayers at church today and thought that perhaps we should branch out a little. I remember reading L'Engle's books about the Austins and O'Keefes and their table prayers that were hymns or canons or writings by the great spiritual thinkers of the faith. I thought that perhaps my family would be like this. Not so much. We're doing good to keep little fingers out of the macaroni until the end of a 16 measure song.
Before Dennis and I got married, I wrote a prayer that I hoped we could use as our family table prayer. It proved too long for him back then. It's still a hope that we might incorporate it someday, but for now it remains in my head awaiting use. I bring it out sometimes for funeral lunches at church. It's a little easier to keep fingers out of the macaroni there.
All that we have,
all that we are,
all is a gift.

All is from you, God,
all is to you, God,
for it's by your grace that we live.


more cows than people said...

i love your grace. it doesn't seem too long at all. it also seems like one that you could divvy up among the family... each person has their own special line or two... all of you say a bit together. i dunno. the doxology is good stuff though.

we had a kids grace and an adults grace when we were growing up and we took turns praying day to day. they were both traditional table prayers, but they worked. we'd do more in advent, and on special days, readings, candlelighting, singing. "the pastor" in the room, my dad, always prayed spontaneous prayers when guests were there.

apparently my parents are now reading a psalm every night before grace.

you make me want to re-read l'engle.

Jim and Amy Rennie said...

This doesn't specifically apply to this post . . .but I was looking at your church's blog site, and saw the story about the young homeless couple. What's happening with them now?

April said...

We never really ate at the table growing up, MC, so this whole idea is a big change for me. I'd love to somehow incorporate scripture into it, but so far we haven't gotten there. It sounds as though you have a very cool foundation to build upon.

Amy, the family kind of self-destructed. The father was found to be violating an order of protection filed by his wife and went to jail. Then when he got out, he hit her. And then went back to his parents in Arkansas. The wife wouldn't work with the YWCA and consequently, DCFS sent her children to her parents in Indiana. Eventually, she went to be with them. It was sad. But like I told my church, Jesus doesn't ask us to help the least of these only if it's going to work out in the end.

jill said...

It's a perfect, perfect grace! Not at all too long. I think kids could learn that. My 5 year old daughter has had "Come Lord Jesus..." down for quite some time. Give it a try--it's beautiful! Wish I'd written it myself!

April said...

Thanks, Jill. It actually incorporates some of our wedding vows. I forgot to say that in the post. I think I'm going to print it out and put it on the table so Dennis can look at it if he needs to do so. I always had grand ideas of making a cool collage-type painting of it, but I've not gotten there in the past four years. I don't imagine I will in the next four, either.

Jim and Amy Rennie said...

You're so right . . .it's really sad what happened, but it's also nice that you guys did your best to help. If anything, it meant something to those kids, and hopefully someday the parents will realize what was done for them and will change their lives as well.