Friday, November 27, 2015

B.A.R. Hopping

It was Thanksgiving Day, a time when family and friends usually gather for a wonderful time of reflection of the blessings they have in their lives. 

What a time it would be for everyone; and the family had even been invited to dinner at two homes, unfortunately they had to decline.  

Counting their blessings should have been going on, but instead it was a gloomy day and Arlene had to work. Things could have been different for this family, but the course of events over the past week changed what should have been a relaxing day. 

You would have never known that the husband and wife loved Jesus by their attitudes or behavior.  What both had been doing for some time lately was B.A.R. hopping, and their misery was starting to show to everyone around them. 

Welcome new friends this week from:
See if your city/state/country made the list. 

New on DFBKathmandu, Bagmati Zone, Nepal; Bridgewater &Truro, NS, Canada; Rishon Le Zion, Central District, Israel; Amsterdam, Noord-Holland, Netherlands; Chittagong, Chittagong Division, Bangladesh; Z├╝rich, Switzerland; Rome, Italy; Calcutta, West Bengal, India. 

USA Paducah, KY; Beckley, WV; Camano Island, WA; Moss Point, MS; Honolulu, HI; Rogers, AR; Smyrna, GA; Harrisburg& New Castle, PA; Canby, OR; Colorado Springs, CO; Sioux Center, IA; Jamestown, NY; Grand Rapids, MI; Bonita Springs & Dundee, FL; Hayward & Palo Alto, CA; Tucson, AZ and NEW JERSEY: Cumberland, Wantage, Warren, Franklin, Branchville, Monroe Township, Gloucester County, Newton & Sparta.  

Thank you for your continued support and sharing Believing Our Belief on Daily Favor.  (DFB - Daily Favor Blog) Living my life before God and man, by sharing experiences as I walk out my faith.
You are welcome to leave comments or prayer requests below.  All are private. I would love to hear from you and how Daily Favor has worked in your life.  Contact me by leaving a message in the box at the bottom of this week’s post.  

Don't miss out on this week's challenge (below).
Visit the Q & A or other sections.

Not the Bar Scene You’re Thinking

Right from the start I can imagine what you are thinking from the title of this article “B.A.R. Hopping," as in people who go from one drinking place to another on a regular basis.  I wasn’t sure how to get people’s attention concerning this particular subject that I’m about to discuss, when the acronym dropped into my thinking … B.A.R. 

Let me say this, it’s not what you think.  Did you automatically start thinking this is a judgmental post for those who frequent local drinking establishments?  That thought may have brought you into the same B.A.R.
I'd like to clarify that what I’m presenting in this article has nothing to do with beverages of choice. 

The topic of drinking or visiting town pubs isn’t what’s this is about; that’s an entirely different thing.  However, I will tell you that the word B.A.R. fits perfectly.  

Let me unwrap the story for you.  When I discuss things in my writing it’s for a purpose. The people (whose names are always changed) have given permission or are aware that I feel it may be beneficial to others if I share something that has happened in their lives.

The Work  

Now back to our “loving” family… Bill sets his hours at work, so his schedule is pretty much his own.  His wife, on the other hand doesn’t enjoy such a flexible agenda.  For years Arlene worked outside the home and loved what she did.  She had a pretty good income which permitted her husband to expand his own business. 

With the present economy being such as it is, she now works out of her home. Usually Arlene can work around whatever is happening with her family, and often works at night when everyone is in bed.  

Hoping to have Thanksgiving off she needed to work longer hours in the beginning of the week.  Bill didn’t take into consideration what his wife needed to do so their family could spend a holiday weekend together, and kept his schedule to fit his own desires. 

Arlene asked Bill if he could work half a day on Monday, but he insisted working long hours.  On Tuesday she asked him again, once more he said he had to finish a project so he didn’t have to work on Friday.  Not only did he work late, but he took almost two hours off to go to lunch with a friend. 

When he got home that night the place where he was working said they had a problem.  What was wrong?  The Christmas lights he had hung weren’t working, so Bill told them he would come fix them on Wednesday after grocery shopping. 
When his wife asked if he could call them to see if they had fixed the problem on their own, he refused saying he didn’t want it hanging over his head.   

All she asked him to do was call.  When Bill didn’t listen she popped out to the B.A.R. once more, which prevented her from concentrating and getting any work done.  When he went back to check the lights he found out that they had resolved the problem and he wasn’t needed after all. 

Wednesday night instead of letting his wife get some work done, he sat and watched television until 1:30 am.  Here the problem was with them both being in the same room, so Arlene couldn’t listen to anything she needed to research.  By now she was too tired to start work.  Getting ready to go to bed the couple had an argument,  but this time Bill took to visiting the B.A.R. 

Thanksgiving morning was a shambles with the entire house not wanting to say a word to “upset” anyone; even the pets kept their distance.  It’s about time for some intervention. 

Spiritual Intervention 

When this couple presented themselves to me I realized there were some deep underlying problems that neither wanted to face.   I knew the couple was having marital issues for some time; thankfully it wasn’t that they wanted out of the relationship.  So what was the real problem that was causing each of them to daily frequent the B.A.R.?   

Bill was never in the mood to discuss anything and certainly wasn’t open to family counseling.  This isn’t new, most of the time when I schedule couples for sessions the husband refuses to come or only agrees to a few sessions. So how could I reach this man?  Was this a waste of time for the wife? 

We’ve Been Called for A Purpose 

Around the middle of the week I talked to the Lord about what has been spiritually happening to so many Christian couples lately. 
Continuing in my studies my eyes focused on something the Apostle Paul said during the time young Timothy was appointed as Bishop.  It was while he was writing to the church in Thessalonica about the call of God on the Body of Christ. 

What is the calling Paul was talking about when he addressed the church at Thessalonica and Christian’s now?  As believers in Christ, Paul admonishes that we endure trials and tribulations with faith and patience.  In doing so, the Righteousness of God is shown counting us worthy of the Kingdom of God, because others have come to believe our testimony of what Christ has done in our own lives.
It’s sad, but society believes what they see Christians do, not what we say we believe. That’s why it’s so important we act on what we say we believe.
Paul also shared that he prayed that God would count all of them worthy of this calling; that is, the fulfilling of the work of Christ by faith through the power of the Holy Spirit.  The “calling” and the works we do are to bring glory to the Lord Jesus by the grace (favor) He has given to each person who has received salvation. (from 2 Thessalonians chapter 1)
While sitting at the kitchen table I distinctly heard three words that are stopping the Body of Christ from accomplishing what God has set before them in life (their individual calling).  That’s when it came together.
Bitterness, Anger, Resentment aka The B.A.R. 

Just as alcohol hinders people from moving forward causing them to stumble, so does bitterness, anger and resentment.  Stepping up to the bar is much different than raising the bar in our expectations in life, but both aspects can fog the mind and be deceiving when they include selfishness. 

Like everyone else there are things that cause me to get angry, and it happened again this week. You can stop gasping now and looking so shocked.
When that happens I ask God to take me out of my B.A.R. feelings so I can see things in a different light.  In other words, let me see why I’m really feeling like I am. That’s what I did and He showed me why I got angry.  I was feeling resentful over something that keeps happening to me from a certain individual.   

The problem wasn’t that I was angry, because I didn’t act on the emotion (so I thought) causing me to sin.  Jesus knew there would be times when we got angry, but His command was that we don’t let that anger turn into action that would cause us to sin.   

Every time I get angry immediately these passages pop up in my head. 

“Be angry, and do not sin. Meditate within your heart on your bed, and be still. Selah.” (Psalm 4:4)
“Don’t let your mouth cause your flesh to sin, nor say before the messenger of God that it was an error (you didn’t mean to sin). Why should God be angry at your excuse and destroy the work of your hands?” (Ecclesiastes 5:6)
“Be angry, and do not sin: do not let the sun go down on your wrath.” (Ephesians 4:26)
Normally I don’t get angry, but when I do it’s usually for another reason (such as being stressed, tired, etc.) that tends to make the situation intensified.  As I said, the problem wasn’t that I got angry. The Lord revealed to me that I sinned when my anger turned into resentment, because this person didn’t respect what I do for a living. This individual continually tries to sabotage my work and I had reached my limit this time.

Hitting the Feelings B.A.R.
Arlene was facing a similar situation with her husband Bill.  For their entire marriage Bill has always seemed bitter or angry at something.  She is tired of his anger issues and is feeling resentful that her career is taking a back seat to his whims.  It’s more complicated than that, but together they hit the feelings B.A.R. on a regular basis.
The Lord showed me how each of them has a call on their lives to do something for God, but neither are doing what they know they should be doing.  As a result, both are not happy, so it comes out in ways of bitterness, anger and resentfulness.

The B.A.R. Removes God’s Favor
The Bible tells about a time when King Saul was very active in the “feelings B.A.R.”, so much that God removed His favor from the first King of Israel. 
His Royal Highness became even more wicked after the Lord revealed to Saul that David was going to be next in line for the throne. The King went into hot pursuit spending all his days trying to find ways to steal, kill and destroy the next heir to the throne.
David’s call by God would allow him to bring the bloodline of Christ into this world. King Saul would be a metaphor of satan and what Jesus talked about in John 10:10, only this took place over a thousand years before He was born.
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that
they may have life, and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10 NRSV) 

Jonathan, the King’s own son, accepted that David was to take his place in ruling over God’s chosen people. Prince Jonathan did whatever he could to walk out his calling, which was to protect young David from his very own father (King Saul). He was counted as righteous, worthy of the Kingdom of God and worthy of the call on his life.
Prince Jonathan wasn’t distraught because of all the trials and tribulations he had in his life. He forgave his father even after Saul tried killing him when he took David’s side. Jonathan was a warrior for His Heavenly Father and his earthly father, with whom he fought beside in battle.
This individual understood God’s calling. Instead of going to the feelings bar and drinking in bitterness, anger or resentfulness over David receiving his birthright, my husband said Jonathan became a “teetotaler” and drank in the plan of God with gladness.
As a result of following the call of God, Jonathan received favor from the Lord and so did his children after his death. I wonder what God would have done for King Saul in his lifetime had he gotten on board with His plan.  Favor skipped him, but his grandson ended up back in the palace with King David.  How’s that for rerouting favor?

Forgiveness is the cure for:
guilt-pain-injured hearts-hurt-hatred-grief
and so much more!

Forgiveness & B.A.R. Visits
I don’t know what’s going to happen to the couple in our story, but I do know that if they don’t get in line with God’s plan they’ll continue to "B.A.R. hop" and probably will add a few more emotions in the mix.  I do know that as long as they’re in this mode and mood without forgiving one another, there will be limited or no favor from God and mankind falling on them.
It’s easy to get caught up in bad feelings or emotions, especially when things don’t seem to be going as we hoped.  We may start out visiting feelings of bitterness, but it we’re not careful we’ll keep making stops at all our negative emotions until our faith and testimony are of no effect as a Christian. 
Believers in Jesus Christ must understand that feelings both good and bad are part of life, but forgiveness and rejecting negative emotions are not an option. They are mandatory if favor from God is to flow in our lives.

Stop B.A.R. Hopping
When I talked to my husband about how I could get this message across all he said was, “That couple is a mess!”  When I asked what he would do next he said, “I don’t know, I seem to be visiting some of those places myself lately.”
I said let’s look at this in perspective. You be King Saul and I’ll be Prince Jonathan.  I thought it was quite funny, but he didn’t think so.
Then I changed my mind.  Jonathan was willing to put all his earthly goods and emotions aside for someone who wasn’t even kin.  He stood by David who had God’s favor on his life, and he didn’t abandon his Dad who was the poster child for B.A.R. hopping when it came to how he hated David with a vengeance.
Obviously I’m not there yet, but because of Jesus the Jonathan tendencies are hidden within waiting to come forth in my life as a child of the real KING.  There was something God did say to me though and He wrapped it up in one word – HOPE.
There is hope for all who have the desire to walk out the call on their life so Jesus is glorified, and others are brought to the saving knowledge of Him. We have to cling to that hope if others are to believe our testimony and turn to Christ.   

This Week’s Challenge:
Close the B.A.R. 

Let’s face it, as long as we are in these earth suits we’re going to have fleshy feelings that could get us into trouble if we don’t take hold of them.
Bitterness, anger and resentment will stop God from extending grace, favor, blessings and mercy on us. We have to search for the Jonathan seed planted deep in our spirit and forgive others, so that God will count us worthy of this calling on our lives.
The challenge this week: If you find that you are about to walk into the negative feelings B.A.R. take hold of who you are in Christ and close the B.A.R. door immediately.
Remember this so that you don’t let hurtful feelings cause you to sin.
“I am a prisoner of the Lord and will walk worthy of the calling to which I am called. (from Ephesians 4:1)
I will forgive and walk in unity with God and my brothers and sisters in Christ, no matter how I feel or what others say or do against me.
Like Jonathan, by faith and the power of the Holy Spirit I will do what I’m called to do for God and fulfill all the good pleasure (favor) of His goodness in my life.”
As soon as you feel yourself getting angry or any feelings that might cause you to sin, tell yourself this even if you have to say it out loud:
“I’m not walking into that negative feelings B.A.R. again; it is closed for good. I’ve shut down the power it has to strip me of my inheritance from God and His favor on my life.”
God brought the word “hope” to my attention for a specific reason. We have to believe that our best days are ahead of us and can’t quit now thinking this is all there is to life.
Although we may be dealing with things that trigger emotions the devil would have us act on, we have the assurance that God is still there guiding us through each situation.
There is hope in front of those who believe and act on the Word of God.
For those who believe what they say they believe by faith, they will see hope manifested through the works of the Holy Spirit and favor.
“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when the desire comes,
it is a tree of life.” (Proverbs 13:12 NKJV) 

This week also remember to pray for families, couples and individuals who have demonstrated visitation rights to the bad feelings B.A.R. Pray that God will reveal to them the reason behind those feelings and that they will be empowered by the Holy Spirit to conquer them.
I leave you with this prayer as Paul did,
“Therefore I also pray always for you that our God would count you
worthy of this calling, and fulfill all the good pleasure of His goodness
and the work of faith with power.” (2 Thessalonians 1:11 NKJV)

If this article has encouraged or helped you please consider sharing it by using the social media icons provided at the end of this post.

Until next time, God’s favor stops outside the B.A.R.!

“Negative feelings cancel out My favor.”
Jesus Christ 

Note: The words satan or devil are not capitalized deliberately, because we give him no place in our lives.
Disclaimer: Article information is not meant to be used as treatment for mental or physical issues, but geared toward spiritual awareness.
What’s New This Week: Click on book or link.

Choosing Forgiveness: Turning from Guilt, Bitterness and
Resentment towards a Life of Wholeness and Peace
by John Loren and Paula Sandford
Available in paperback or eBook formats. 
Favored1 on Facebook, TwitterYou Tube, Pinterest and Articles.  

Maybe you don’t know the Living God that I know, but would like to have this kind of favor in your life also.  Click on the above tab “Tell Me” for more information on becoming a child of the Savior.

Content and Image Copyright from Favored1. Do not copy. 
Scripture reference was taken from the New King James Bible Version provided by Bible Gateway
Image credit: Google Images or Dreamstime Creative Common License if not specified.
Image:  Family Dinner  King Saul Fallen
Disclaimer Notes: Results may vary due to lack of belief.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Saying Grace

Coming into the restaurant you could see her squirreled up by the corner window all by herself.  A simple lunch of a baked potato and iced tea were pushed away from her making room for her arms.  

Hunched over with elbows on the table, tired hands cradled her head. You could see that her eyes were closed as she massaged her forehead and temples with the tips of her fingers. 

Obviously she had a major headache … bless her heart. 

Welcome new friends this week from:
See if your city/state/country made the list. 

New on DFBHyderabad, Telangana, India; Nairobi, Kenya; Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India; Lecco, Lombardia, Italy; Toledo, Castilla-La Mancha, Spain; Kikinda, Serbia; Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam; Halifax, NS, Canada; Fiorano Canavese, Piedmont, Italy.
USA Tuscaloosa, AL; Camano Island, WA; The Villages, FL; Mustang, OK; Kaplan, LA; Baltimore, MD; Woodburn, OR; Beckley, WV; Tucson, AZ; Toledo, New Kingstown, PA; San Bernardino, CA; Tuscaloosa, AL; McKean, PA. 

Thank you for your continued support and sharing Believing Our Belief on Daily Favor.  (DFB - Daily Favor Blog) Living my life before God and man, by sharing experiences as I walk out my faith.
You are welcome to leave comments or prayer requests below.  All are private. I would love to hear from you and how Daily Favor has worked in your life.  Contact me by leaving a message in the box at the bottom of this week’s post.  

Don't miss out on this week's challenge (below).
Read Messages, updates on Hubby’s Heart and visit the Q & A or other sections.

The Mormon Headache 

I’ve never heard of this demonstration of “fake” headaches as the Mormon headache.  To be fair it isn’t limited to any particular religion or faith when it comes to silent prayers in public, so please stop blaming Mormons.  

If you haven’t figured it out by now, I’m that girl with the fake headache in the restaurant.  It wasn’t that I was ashamed of being a Christian; I just didn’t know how to go about living my faith in public without drawing attention to myself.  The fake headache gag was something I did quite often when I was a young(er) believer to overcome what I felt was awkward. 

I’ve come a long way since then, but has my faith matured with me? Have I become legalistic when it comes to the mandatory open prayer over meals? What about when I’m a guest at someone’s table who doesn’t practice what I believe, should I force the issue? Even Jesus gave thanks for the food that He served to the multitudes. 

“And He commanded the multitude to sit down on the ground. And He took the seven loaves and the fishes, and gave thanks, and brake them, and gave to His disciples, and the disciples to the multitude.”
 (from Matthew 14:19 & 15:35-36)

Instructed to Pray  

Have you ever had a time when you were reading something for the hundredth time and then a phrase jumps off the page at you?  That’s what happened last week in my evening Bible reading.   

I was simply reading my regular “Read through the Bible Schedule” when I had to stop and back up in my reading.  It was part of a letter the apostle Paul wrote to Pastor Timothy, but these two particular verses caused me to do a re-read.   

It wasn’t the rebellious vegetarian aspect, because I understand that every good gift is from the Lord.  There was something else that made me stop and take in what the Lord was saying to me concerning this reference on eating. Take a look: 

“For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused if it is received with thanksgiving: For it is sanctified by the Word of God and prayer.  If you put the brethren in remembrance of these things, you will be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, which you have carefully followed.”

I agree Paul was teaching that food was to be received with prayer and thanksgiving, but he wasn’t just speaking about things we eat. The apostle was talking about faith, Christian lifestyle and tradition as well. 

However, what stood out was that this came to my attention about the time my husband and I were discussing the issue of people not praying over their food in public.  We noticed Christians weren’t even saying grace. 

Tradition or thankfulness to pray over meals? 

In the Jewish tradition they don’t say “grace” or a “blessing” before they eat, but rather after as acknowledgement to God for His provision as indicated in Deuteronomy 8:10.  The after eating prayer is quite long and includes thanksgiving for other blessings as well.  They give thanks for the blessed land that produced the bountiful harvest of food for their tables and for being able to sow to the poor or needy. 

“When you have eaten and are full, then you shall bless the LORD your God for the good land which He has given you.”
(Deuteronomy 8:10 NKJV) 

Some believe that it is merely maintaining an attitude of thanks that is more important than the actual prayer, but I don’t think that’s what Jesus meant. Praying in public (not those long prayers where people want to make a scene to be noticed) is a witness of what we believe about God and His Word.  If we are truly thankful for the food we are blessed to have provided for us, shouldn’t we give thanks to the One who has given the provision? 

I recently read about a woman who explained that when she prays with thanksgiving for the food she is about to eat, she also prays for those who are starving asking God to meet their needs. Praying for what we are about to receive is a good way to remind ourselves of the favor of food in our lives. 

There are some who think it’s legalistic that they “have to” pray openly because they don’t believe it is a valid vessel for sharing the message of Christ.  They want to keep it private and thank God silently. 

Maybe you fall in that area of not wanting to pray because you know as soon as you start the waitress will show up to take your order. That has happened to us a ton of times, but it hasn’t stopped us from praying in restaurants. On the other hand, it has helped us with our timing of when we pray. 

A few months ago I posted a question on Google+ asking if anyone felt they needed to pray again when they had leftovers since they originally prayed over the meal.
The response was rather humorous, though not intended.  

Some said that since the food was already blessed, they didn’t need to do it again feeling it was “safe” to eat.  One man said he prayed based on who made the meal, especially if it was his mother-in-law. 

 A few claimed that they didn’t pray over snack foods because it really wasn’t a “meal”.  Others said they prayed every time they ate something, no matter how small the meal or how many times it had been reheated.   

I remember not asking my little brother Alan to pray over the food, because he would ask blessings on everything that was on his plate listing food items one by one.  We finally had to stop him from praying over every bite explaining that if he prayed over the meal he was good to go. 

For those who don’t pray over their food at all, are they living by faith hoping God will protect them or is it a step on the stupid side? I’m not sure.

To me, praying for the food we’re about to eat is an outward acknowledgement of what we say we believe.  It ultimately makes the statement that we give credit to the One who has made the food possible for us to partake. 

Survey Says 

Just out of curiosity I researched on the practice of “saying grace” or “the blessing” over meals.  There were three I found intriguing. 

The first survey asked over 6,750 people: “Do you bless your food in public?” Here are some responses. 

5% said they prayed before they went into the restaurant.

7% still do the religious headache bit. (I knew I wasn’t alone.)
8% did the deep stare approach.

34% said they do a variety of things.

46% said they don’t pray in public, but do at home. (Hmm .. I wonder.) 

The second survey I researched was even larger. 

1,248 people said they weren’t raised to pray, but now do it all the time.

312 said they have never said a prayer in public for food.

14 people said they only pray when they eat alone or with their family.

14 said they didn’t do it growing up and still don’t.

832 people said they were raised to say grace in public and still do no matter what others may think.  

The last survey that I want to share wasn’t that big, but I like the results.  The question that was presented to Americans asking how frequently they said “grace.”  You can see that the country is practically split down the middle when it comes to daily blessings over food. 

44% said they do say grace at mealtime and pray daily

46% offer occasional prayer or never say grace

10% admit they might say grace only once or twice a week 

Here is something I think you might be surprised to learn.  If you are seen praying before your meal in Mary’s Gourmet Diner in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, you will be favored with a 15% discount off your meal!  God bless you Mary for acting on what you believe. 

In a call to action, do your own polling or survey this week observing how many people you see praying in public. 

Remind Others of This 

“For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused if it is received with thanksgiving: For it is sanctified by the Word of God and prayer.  If you put the brethren in remembrance of these things, you will be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, which you have carefully followed.”
(1 Timothy 4:4-6) 

Glancing back at the passage the Lord pointed out to me, the surveys confirmed what we witnessed about people not saying grace.  There is another reason why we should pray over our meals. 

Understanding that we are given permission by God to partake of the bounty He has provided is great, but there is something that goes with being able to eat what we want – thanksgiving. 

When we give thanks, the food becomes sanctified by God’s words through our prayer.  When God sanctifies what we want to eat, that means it’s now fit to be received into His temple (our bodies).  It’s like He gives the caterer permission to enter the building. 

Basically food becomes sanctified as safe when you pray, so I think I’ll keep saying grace. 

Washed in the Heart 

Do you remember when Jesus reprimanded the Pharisees for telling tales that the disciples hadn’t washed their hands before they ate?  He remarked that they were more concerned with the outward cleanliness than actually loving God. (Mark 7:5-6)  They weren’t washed in the righteousness of God, but wanted to follow traditional law. They weren’t eating for the glory of God.   

“Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do,
do all to the glory of God.” (1 Corinthians 10:31 NKJV) 
Does this instance coincide with what He taught on giving thanks for what God has provided? 

Following the practice of praying over our food isn’t really the focus of why we should pray.  Our reason for praying is to bless God, the provider of all things and give Him thanks for what He has brought into our lives.  Prayer is an active part of a person who believes God.

Whether or not you pray openly, a believer should make it a practice to thank and bless the Lord for His provision.  Saying grace with those who proclaim their faith in Christ is something we all should be honored to do with one another. 

Why We Gather Together 

When I was in public elementary school we learned many songs about giving thanks to God such as “We Gather Together to Ask the Lord’s Blessings.”  Why do you gather? Is it just to have a meal or do you focus on the blessing? 

Charles Wilden (BTW that's a dictionary not a Bible.)
I love gatherings at my sister’s. She has a picture that has hung in her kitchen for over forty years called “Grace” by the photographer Eric Enstrom.  It depicts an older gentleman sitting at a table with a loaf of bread saying grace for what he was about to eat.  

The man in the photograph was a Swedish immigrant who lived in a sod house in Minnesota. In 1926 the peddler Charles Wilden received the sum of $5.00 for posing as if he was saying grace.  Immediately the photograph sold thousands of copies becoming one of the most popular pieces of artwork in homes across America. 

Although Wilden waived his rights to the photograph, Mr. Enstrom tried looking for the peddler to pay his royalties, but was unsuccessful in his attempt. 

When I enter my sister’s home I look for that photograph as a reminder of what I am thankful for, and to reflect on blessings of grace (unmerited favor) from God.  Isn’t that what the gathering should be about anyway? Isn’t that another reason to say grace? 

Do Ye Likewise 

Have I become a traditionalist or legalistic because I want to pray over my food, whether or not I’m in public? No, I’m practicing what I believe Jesus would have Christians do, without drawing attention to myself or make others feel uncomfortable. If I pray openly in public I do it quietly when with others, or share with my guest that I would like to pray. 

Whether or not you choose to pray openly is between you and the Lord, but I’d like to point out a few more things you may not have realized about saying grace. 

We learned about the Lord praying over the food when He fed the thousands, plus He gave us examples on how and when to pray throughout scriptures. Jesus even prayed before administering the Lord’s Supper, as recorded in Matthew 26: 26-29. Likewise Paul did the same in 1 Corinthians 10:16 in what we call “Communion.” 

Paul also stated that those who remind others to pray (over food) are being good ministers of Jesus Christ and encourages in faith. (from 1 Timothy 4:5-6) I want to be a good steward for Christ and that’s why I pose this week’s “grace” challenge. 

This Week’s Challenge:
Remember to Say Grace 

This week America will be celebrating the holiday Thanksgiving, a day set apart where we are to actually give thanks to God for bestowing favor and grace through blessings on His children. 

Instead of going around the table having everyone share what they are thankful for this year, have them say it in a prayer. 

The Saying Grace Challenge: Say “grace” (the blessing) before you eat and give thanks by asking each person to pray a continued prayer with the head of the family closing.  

When we do this we grasp hands making an unbroken circle around the table. The person on the right hand side of the head of the household begins the opening of the prayer and gives their thanks to the Lord.
When the person praying is done giving thanks they squeeze the hand of the person who is next in line to pray, signifying they are finished saying their grace prayer.   

Continue giving thanks in prayer until everyone around the table has said grace ending with the head of the household where they close saying, “In Jesus’ name, Amen.” 

Not only do I want to encourage you to participate in a family grace prayer, I hope that you will gladly say grace every time you eat whether it is open or silent.   

“Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving.” (Colossians 4:2 NKJV) 
Thanksgiving Song - Mary Chapin Carpenter

If this article has encouraged or helped you please consider sharing it by using the social media icons provided at the end of this post. 

Until next time, favor God with prayers of thanksgiving! 

Check Messages throughout the week.
“Pray with thankful hearts.”
Jesus Christ 

Note: The words satan or devil are not capitalized deliberately, because we give him no place in our lives.
Disclaimer: Article information is not meant to be used as treatment for mental or physical issues, but geared toward spiritual awareness. 

What’s New This Week: Click on product or link.

Favored1 on Facebook, TwitterYou Tube, Pinterest and Hub Pages Articles.  

Maybe you don’t know the Living God that I know, but would like to have this kind of favor in your life also.  Click on the above tab “Tell Me” for more information on becoming a child of the Savior.

Content and Image Copyright from Favored1. Do not copy. 
Scripture reference was taken from the New King James Bible Version provided by Gateway Bible
Image credit: Google Images or Dreamstime Creative Common License if not specified.
Image:  Headache  Grace Photograph
Disclaimer Notes: Results may vary due to lack of belief.