My Father's Kitchen


Notes about prayer, growing up in my father's house, politics, and reason.

"A weak and feeble man who creates for himself a personal god, one who can be spoken to directly in prayer, extends that man's lost and frightened sense of being at home in the world. "___quoted from an unknown source.

Growing up in my father's house meant taking your turn with the additional remarks required following the reciting of our evening family supper prayer. That prayer is probably one most of you have heard:

"Come Lord Jesus be our guest and with these gifts to us to us be blessed."

At the conclusion of our sort of sing-song in unison, one of us kids already picked prior to the prayer's commencement would, when it was his turn, continue on reciting the same exact elements to what he had heard one of his other brothers say in a previous turn. It was the sole responsibility of the person chosen to prove to our father the true extent of our own personal Christian faith and to express in front of the others his sincerest love for all his present family members. The so-called "further remarks" almost always were some variation of the following:

Dear Lord, thank you for this food, thank you for my brothers, and my mom and dad. Please help Grandma get well and keep Mom safe when she drives to the grocery. Amen.

Sometimes our father chose to perform his own "further remarks" and his were quite different, and presented in such a way that always seemed to me extremely outlandish, even as a small kid. The typical prayer of our father's, if given today, would go something like this. And keep in mind we were hungry here, and that's all I need to say:

Dear Lord, Heavenly Father, we ask in your name that you hear our prayer. We, your humble servants, so undeserving Lord of your great blessings bestowed upon us, we ask on bended knees dear Savior, for your continued mercy and the furtherance of your bountiful gifts we have in our home and in our hearts today.

Bless this food, Lord, that my beautiful bride of over sixty-one years has so lovingly prepared, whose boundless love has been the glue that has kept this family together through every adversity, and who without her, dear Lord, I myself would be nothing.

Dear Heavenly Father we thank you so much for this bounty you have put before us. Bless the beautiful salad brought by my daughter-in-law who safely made it here with all her family, her boys, Boone, Ray, and Al, coming all the way from Kentucky. We love these grandkids, Lord. These offspring, so considerate, so loving, all of them Lord, they are so dear to us.

Please be with Boone as he takes his entrance exam, as he has prepared so hard for these tests he is about to take. He's a good student Lord and he needs your help. Please be with Ray as he practices his soccer. Give him the confidence to try and score, to feel he belongs on the field with the rest of the kids. Please watch over our Little Al who is growing into just a prince of a guy, Lord. Guide him in all he does and continue to show him the way.

We thank you Jesus for the fresh-picked corn-on-the-cob the neighbors brought over from next door, these beautiful Michigan potatoes from the local market, and my loving son out there on the patio, grilling those steaks in the pouring rain Dear God, all these things being done in the shadow of your love, Sweet Jesus.

We thank you so much for the tenderness of the hearts which have come together here to share this meal.

We thank you Lord for all the rains that have come to water your beautiful earth that gives life to all you have created. Lord we ask that your beloved son, Jesus Christ, enter into our hearts, that you may bless each and every one of us when our time together is finished for the day and we begin the sometimes long and dangerous trip back to our respective homes, ever mindful of keeping all of us safe from danger.

Dear Lord, know that we are ever mindful of your presence in our lives. Please keep the boys' mother, my beautiful wife, in your loving grace as she enters the hospital tomorrow to have her barium test, a procedure we pray Lord will go smoothly and will help to answer our pressing questions and concerns over Mother's health, and that it be your will Lord that she has a complete recovery because without her Lord I just don't know what we'd do.

We can't thank you enough Lord for all that you've given this family of ours, food on the table, clothes on our backs Lord, a beautiful home that my wife, who has meant so much to all of us Lord, takes such good, and loving care of. It's not easy at her age Lord, not anymore, but give her the strength to carry on.

Lord, as we walk with thee, hear our prayers, show us the way, let us be thy servants in deed, and forever help and keep our country safe from all who would bring us harm. Lord, show our beloved country the way, the truth, and the light as we are in the midst of a terrible and evil crisis.

Our young and inexperienced president seems poisoned with his socialistic ideas. Why it is that he attempts to redistribute wealth to the poor and people of faith and color, so much so not of our own, or what our Founding Fathers wanted for us originally. If it be thy will Lord, make America stand strong again as we did after the "War to End All Wars". And help us to be proud citizens, free, and to remain the keepers of Liberty. Lord, in your holy name we pray, Amen.

My Father's Kitchen

Comments 3 comments

Man from Modesto profile image

Man from Modesto 5 years ago from Kiev, Ukraine (formerly Modesto, California)

Your father sounds like a very good man. My step-father beat me, and rarely prayed. My bio father considers me an asset, which he should utilize for his own financial gain. you call your own dad "weak and feeble" because he trusted God?

I hope you can come to appreciate just how great of a father God gave you to.

mewlhouse profile image

mewlhouse 5 years ago from Louisville Author

I let the piece speak for itself. The quote at the beginning of the piece is not mine. I cannot credit it as I do not know where the quote came from exactly. I do not believe I said anything negative about my own father here in this piece. But you may interpret the piece any way you'd like to. I would suggest you think otherwise, however. But thank you for reading.

KathyBentz 5 years ago

What a lovely reflection of your father, and your time around the table with family in friends. In today's world, it is difficult to find that time around the table. My house definitely reflects that pattern though on occasion, I throw a Mom Tantrum and demand a sit down meal. The image you have created here takes me to meals with my grandparents and family, gathered densely around two joined picnic tables, and hearing the deep hum of my family's dinner prayer. Thank you so much for sharing.

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