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Pray at Lunchtime for the United States

The origin of praying for a meal has ties to the Old Testament and New Testament.  In the days of Israel, cup bearers were similar to modern day secret service agents.  Instead of serving as an armed guard, these men tested the food and wine for poisons.  If no one died, this meal was safe for the king to enjoy.  One of the most famous cup bearers is Nehemiah, who God used as a vessel to rebuild the wall around Jerusalem.  In the first century, the apostles gave thanks for each meal the Lord provided.  While the passage below does not detail the words spoken, praying before eating was a form of thanksgiving.

Having said this, he took bread and gave thanks to God in front of them all, and he broke it and began to eat, Acts 27:35.

Today, Christians continue this practice, folding their hands, closing their eyes and either silently or verbally expressing thanks to God for daily bread.  Just as Moses gave thanks for manna from heaven and quail via God, saying grace is an act of appreciation for the little things in life.  Unfortunately, praying at lunch has made national news recently for the wrong reason.  Brigadier General John Teichert who has a blog encouraging individuals to pray at lunchtime for the United States is being threatened by a lawsuit.  Attorney Michael Weinstein who trolls Christians on military bases recently said, “General Teichert should be doing time behind prison bars, not commanding a Wing wearing a general’s stars,”

Then all of them were encouraged and their spirits improved, and they also ate some food, Acts 27:36.

Luke provides the benefits of praying before a meal in the passage above.  Based upon the words used by Luke, saying grace can be moving as people pour out their hearts to God.  This specific prayer encouraged everyone in attendance as well as uplifting their spirits.  If public prayer for a meal could have this impact on a group of people, why is this attorney be so upset?  If prayer can inspire souls to act, what’s the big deal?  How is prayer hurting military bases and the men and women who serve this country?  Perhaps, if atheists, critics and skeptics begin to pray, this world would become a better place.  May the readers of this blog keep General Teichert in your prayers so that the power of prayer will continue to thrive in this country and throughout the world.

by Jay Mankus

Blessings, Giving and the Mystery of Multiplication

According to John 20:30-31, Jesus performed numerous miracles daily.  An eye witness to thousands of these jaw dropping events, John suggests you would need an entire library devoted to this topic if this were necessary.  Nonetheless, only one of Jesus’ miracles is included within each of the four gospels, the feeding of the 5,000.  After further examination of this encounter, principles of blessings, giving and multiplication exist.

Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written, John 21:25.

The context of the feeding of the 5,000 starts with an all day teaching session.  Consumed by the message on his heart, Jesus loses track of time.  Trying to intervene, the disciples suggest sending everyone home before it gets dark.  Turning the tables of his team, Jesus commands, “give them something to eat.”  Perplexed, the math didn’t add up: 2 fish and 5 loaves of bread for 5,000 men excluding woman and children.

They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over, Matthew 14:20.

The author of Hebrews suggests blessings are accompanied by faith.  Without faith, the disciples would not have been able to approach the crowds with their baskets of food.  First, Jesus blessed the fish and bread like saying grace.  Most Hollywood interpretations portray a scene with Jesus’ blessing/prayer resulting in a pile of bread and fish.  A recent sermon I heard claims that this multiplication occurred after each disciple gave food to those who were hungry.  This perspective believes that as the disciples got down to their very last scrap of bread and fish, a miraculous multiplication took place.  Thus, when blessings are passed on to the less fortunate in faith, the power of multiplication can be unleashed.  Trust and obey.

by Jay Mankus

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