Well, my apologies to those who have been patiently (and not so patiently, yes, you know who you are) waiting for The Offerings of Our Lips. But, after going back to the drawing board in regard to the content, I’m finally getting very close to the place where I will feel ready to start approaching a publisher or two about getting this out.
As a reward for so patiently waiting [small grin] and because I’ve been requested to do so, I’ve decided to post the text of my “Grace After Meals” prayer.
It is actually one of my favorite prayers from the collection, as it has significance on several layers. But I leave it to you to discover those on your own. While this is one piece, those who are familiar with the traditional Jewish liturgy will probably recognize the influence of the four traditional blessings of Birkat haMazon. More readily apparent however, is the prayer’s reliance on Deuteronomy 8:1-18, where we find the command on which the prayer is based.
I hope you enjoy using this, and that it holds many blessings for you and your family. One final comment, the prayer is designed to be reader-response. The reader indicated by regular font and the responses of all by italicized font. Feel free to use it in whatever manner you find works best for your family, however. Given the age of my kids, I often read a phrase and my kids repeat it, and we go through the whole prayer like that. We’ve begun to put motions to it that help them remember and even my three year old (almost four) is all ready beginning to repeat the lines before I finish. They really enjoy it; which has been my great delight. Well, without further ado, here is “Grace After Meals” from the forthcoming prayer book, The Offerings of Our Lips.
Grace After Meals
Let us bless the Lord together.
Lest we forget the Lord our God. Who brought us out of slavery and brings us to a good land
May we be careful to do the whole commandment that He has commanded us
That we may live, go in, multiply, and possess the land the Lord swore to our Father Abraham.
Bless the Lord together.
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and remember the road on which He has led us.
He has tested us that we may know,
That man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.
Know in your heart, that our Father, God, will discipline us.
So we will keep the commandments of the Lord our God, walk in his ways, and fear Him.
May the words of our mouth be the will of our heart.
As it is written, “and you shall eat and be full, and you shall bless YHWH your God for the good land He has given you.”
Take care lest you forget the Lord your God,
by not keeping His commandments, His ordinances, and His statutes.
Lest when we have eaten and are full, lest when we have built good houses, and all we have is multiplied,
We lift up our hearts and forget the Lord our God.
Beware, lest you say in your heart,
My power and the might of my hand have earned me this wealth.
Remember the Lord your God
For it is He who gives us strength to confirm His covenant that He swore to our fathers.
Bless the Lord.
Blessed is the Merciful One, Ruler of the world, Who created this food. We bless You, we honor You, we thank You. We are Your people and You are our God.
(c) copyright 2006 Nathan A. Long