“Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name. For the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting, and His truth endures to all generations” (Psalm 100:4–5).
There is one very simple evangelistic opportunity many people get that can’t be underestimated—asking the blessing at a meal.
At a special gathering, people may feel the need to ask a blessing on the meal though they might not normally be inclined toward prayer. It’s not uncommon for them to look to a believer and say, “Would you like to pray for our meal?” There are several things to keep in mind as you welcome the opportunity.
One, it’s important to realize that you’re actually blessing the Lord, not the food, by giving thanks to Him. When you look in Scripture the psalmist blesses the Lord for who He is. The benefits we receive from His hand flow from His nature of provider and sustainer. Make it clear in your prayer that we’re praising God for being such a giver of all good gifts and mention that the food indicates His goodness.
Following that, you can say something to the extent of, “And Lord we thank you for the greatest gift you’ve ever given us—the gift of eternal life—by allowing your Son to die on a cross as our substitute, take the punishment for our sins, and rise again. And we thank you as we trust in Him alone as our only way to heaven, we can have the greatest gift of all, eternal life.”
In so doing, you’ve shared the gospel very informally, being careful to mention it’s a free gift because of what Christ did on the cross. Then close the prayer the way you started, by thanking God for being such a giver of all good gifts and ask Him to help everyone walk in the spirit of gratitude after enjoying the meal together.
As you thank the Lord for the food, keep your blessing brief and avoid using pious-sounding intonations as if you’re preaching. Remember, it’s a blessing, not a sermon. It only takes a portion of a minute to say everything mentioned above. Another thing you might do, as you thank the Lord for the food, is mention particular people that helped prepared it and thank the Lord for them as well.
When you have an opportunity like this, use it wisely and use it well. You could put a thought in someone’s mind that God will use to bring them to Christ.
Editor's Note: This post is adapted from an article originally posted in November 2015.