Peanut Butter and Jelly Prayers

Peanut Butter and Jelly Prayers

by Julie B. Sevig


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The dinner table may be the only time that today's busy families sit down together - and pray together. This book meets families where they are, offering prayers of thanks for macaroni and cheese, fast-food meals, and, yes, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Includes rhyming prayers for little kids, dinner-table prayers for special family occasions, and prayers marking the movement of the church year.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780819233424
Publisher: Church Publishing, Incorporated
Publication date: 01/01/2016
Pages: 96
Product dimensions: 6.80(w) x 4.90(h) x 0.40(d)

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Peanut Butter and Jelly Prayers


Church Publishing Incorporated

Copyright © 2007 Julie B. Sevig
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-8192-2275-6



What's Cookin'?

Kids love rhymes, kids love these foods.

As children get older, most parents and other caregivers introduce children to new foods and expand their meal horizons. But there are some favorites that children begin eating as toddlers, and that stay favorites—peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and macaroni and cheese, for instance. The prayers in this section are for just such foods. And because these foods are often eaten at places other than the dining room or kitchen table, they're easy to memorize. They rhyme! After all, we don't always have the prayer book in the car while waiting at McDonald's or sitting outside by the grill, and favorite foods eaten on the go deserve to be blessed, too. Enjoy saying these prayers over and over again, and make up new ones of your own.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches

    Whether on white, whether on wheat—
    Thank you for this sandwich we eat,
    For peanut butter and sweet jelly,
    That find their way into our belly.

TABLE TALK: What's your favorite thing to eat with a sandwich?

If you were a sandwich filling, what would you be?

Peanut butter and jelly are sticky: Have you ever been in a sticky situation?

Fast Food

    We want it fast, we want it now.
    Thank you God, for the cow!
    For burgers, fries, and all we chew!
    For all who work at this drive-thru!

TABLE (CAR) TALK: Pick three foods from your favorite fast-food restaurants and put them together for a meal. What would that meal look like? (Chicken from KFC, fries from McDonalds, ice cream from Baskin-Robbins?)

Macaroni and Cheese

    Boil the water, add the noodles,
    Mac and cheese, we love you oodles.
    In gratefulness for this creation,
    We bow and eat with such elation.

TABLE TALK: Anything pasta probably falls in the category of "comfort food." What's your favorite thing to eat when you need comfort?


    Bless the cheese,
    Bless the meat,
    Oh dear God, bless all who eat.
    For those who hunger, those who shiver—
    We thank you, God—you, too, deliver.

TABLE TALK: What's your favorite pizza topping?

If you could pick three people to have pizza with, whom would you invite?

Where would be the funniest, oddest place to eat a pizza?


    God of all things floured and flat—
    Used for a taco, used for a wrap,
    Bless what's seen and what's unseen—
    Everything that's in between.

TABLE TALK: In this prayer and in one of our creeds (the Nicene), we say we believe that God made everything, seen and unseen. What's something you're thankful for that you can see? What's something you're thankful for that you can't see?

Vegetarian Goodness

    From the fields we all are fed,
    Give us Lord our daily bread.
    Vegetables and fruit galore,
    You give us all we need and more.

TABLE TALK: What's your favorite (red, green, yellow, or white) vegetable? Do you have a "vegi-tale" (a vegetable story that you know, or could make up)?


    Whether for breakfast, lunch, or supper,
    Pancakes are quite an upper;
    With jam or syrup, or just plain,
    We thank you, God, once again!

TABLE TALK: If you could have your pancake made in any shape, what would it be?

Picnic Blessings

    Sometimes we're inside, sometimes we're out,
    Sometimes we're even "out and about."
    Like you, dear Jesus, we're on the go,
    Enjoying creation—we love it so!
    Bugs and water, sunset and flower,
    We give you thanks for this fine hour.

TABLE TALK: What creature reminds you of God's creativity and/or sense of humor? Is it the giraffe, the frog, the hummingbird?


    It's usually for breakfast, but not all the time.
    God, bless our cereal, we ask you in rhyme.
    It comes in all shapes, and sits in our bowl.
    When milk has been added, to our tummy it rolls.

TABLE TALK: If you're eating this at the beginning of the day, what's one of your hopes for the day? If you're eating this later in the day (perhaps before bed) what was a highlight from your day?


    You've blessed these before and you bless them again,
    With these our leftovers, let the feasting begin;
    But please, dear Lord, when this meal is through,
    Let's say to what's left: We bid you adieu!

TABLE TALK: What's your favorite food to eat again and again and again?



Special Occasions

In the busyness of life, families who sit down to eat a meal together are often doing so because it's a special occasion. There are guests present or your family is celebrating—a good report card, the start of school, or a secular holiday such as Thanksgiving. This section includes prayers for such occasions, sometimes with a blank to include a name and/or a reason your family is gathered.

When Friends Visit

    Gracious God,
    Friendship is one of the greatest gifts of life.
    We thank you for this food and these friends.
    May this meal nourish our bodies, and our
     relationships with one another.
    Thank you, God, for food and friends! Amen.

TABLE TALK: Adult(s): Tell about a favorite friend from childhood. Kids: Name one of your friends and tell what you like about that friend.

When Relatives Visit

God of all families,

We thank you that we're able to spend this time and this meal with _____________.

We ask that you would strengthen us as a family, and help us to appreciate and love one another every day, but especially during this time (this meal, or these days) together.

Give us love, patience, and much laughter! In Jesus' name, amen.

TABLE TALK: What's one fun thing about your extended family? Do you have a favorite "family story" that you love to tell again and again?

It's Your Birthday

We eat this meal, faithful God, in celebration of _____________.

Thank you for giving him/her to us to know and love.

We are grateful for the way he/she contributes to our family

(family members may thank God for what they appreciate about the birthday person).

Be with ____________ in the year ahead, as you have been all of his/her life.

In the name of Jesus, our savior and friend, amen.

TABLE TALK: What is a highlight of the past year, a hope for the year ahead? (Birthday person, and others, may answer.)

Celebrating a Loved One's Accomplishment

Today, gracious God, we celebrate with _____________.

We thank you for giving him/her the gift of (list a talent).

May we always remember that all gifts come from you, and may we always remember to celebrate accomplishments—big and small—with one another.

Thank you for this food and for _____________.


TABLE TALK: Ask the guest of honor to tell about this accomplishment.

Celebrating Baptism or the Anniversary of a Baptism

What a winning combination, this water and word; we give you thanks, saving God, for this day.

You claimed ____________ as your own in the waters of baptism and with your words of grace.

As we eat, drink, and gather at this table, we remember the promise that we belong to you!


TABLE TALK: Tell one another baptism stories; or, if this is a baptism day for a family member or friend, ask everyone "What was your favorite part of the day?"

Welcome to the Family—Person or Pet

Gracious God,

as we gather at this table, we are changed. Our family has changed.

We thank you for _____________. May we always remember him/her as a gift from you.

Bless this meal of celebration and our new family member!


TABLE TALK: What is one wish or hope you have for this new person/pet who joins the family?

In Our Sadness

We ask you, loving God, to bless this food and bless us as a family.

Be with us in our sadness. Help us to be patient and kind to one another.

We remember how much you love and care for us, and that you ask us to love and care for each other.


TABLE TALK: How are you feeling right now? What can we do to feel better?


God of movement, God of change,

as we prepare to leave our home, help us remember the good memories we've made here—

the special celebrations, the funny stories, even the sad times that helped us grow and change.

You were with us through it all, and we know that you go with us now!

Bless our memories, bless this meal. Amen.

TABLE TALK: What room of this home will you miss the most? Of the funny things that happened in this home, which do you hope to always remember?

Back to School

God of our work and our play, we thank you for time off from school and for more time with our family and friends.

We're grateful for all the fun we've had, and all the fun we'll continue to have as we see old friends, make new ones, and learn new things.

Bless us as we return to work and school, and thank you for keeping us safe.

May this food and the coming year nourish us! Amen.

TABLE TALK: What is your favorite vacation memory? What are you most looking forward to about going back to work or school?


God of our fears, God of our fun, bless this night of Halloween.

Keep us safe, and help us to be kind and appreciate all that you give us—even costumes and candy!

Bless all who graciously give and receive on this night. Amen.

TABLE TALK: What's your favorite candy or Halloween treat?


For all that you have made, we give you thanks gracious God.

For our homes, family, and friends; for our country and its leaders; for freedom and for those who have sacrificed so much for that freedom; and for all that you give us to eat this day—and always.

We remember those throughout the world and in our country who go hungry this day—and many other days. Help us to share what we have: a harvest of blessings and goodness.

In the name of Jesus, who taught us about justice for all people, amen.

TABLE TALK: What's something you're thankful for that someone has shared with you?

Beginning of Fall

God of bounty and goodness, you provide all that is needed for the earth's harvest.

We thank you for pumpkins and squash, apples and peaches.

As the leaves turn colors and fall to the ground we rejoice in what you have made, and that you bring new life out of death.

May our gratitude for all your blessings make us generous with all we have.

We are surrounded by change, but we know your love for us does not change. Amen.

TABLE TALK: What is your favorite "fall" food? Or leaf color?

Beginning of Winter

As days become shorter and darker, O God, we remember that you give us both warmth and light.

We thank you for our family and for this food.

We remember that you are our strength and refuge—especially when the world is dark and cold.

Bless this food, and continue to bless us during these months of winter. Amen.

TABLE TALK: What's your favorite thing to do in the winter?

Beginning of Spring

God our Creator, the trees reach to you, the heavens open to your mercy, the flowers sing for joy.

You bring life from the soil of this earth.

Bless all who plant and work in the fields of every land.

Grant them favorable weather, a rich harvest, just wages, and fair profits.

Help us appreciate and care for your creation that breaks forth with joy and color in these weeks of spring.

Thank you for all lands and people who produce food for our nourishment.

May we bear the signs and wonders of new life to this world in the name of Christ, amen.

TABLE TALK: Tell about a sign of spring you've seen this week.

Beginning of Summer

The earth is alive with the warmth of the sun and the coolness of waters.

We thank you for these months of fun and rest, for fresh fruit and meals cooked and eaten outdoors.

Keep us safe from all harm and secure in your love as we enjoy your wonderful creation.

In Jesus' name, amen.

TABLE TALK: What is one thing you would like to try this summer that you've never tried before?

New Year's Eve/Day

God of newness, we enter this new year with confidence that you go before us and with us.

Thank you for the blessings of the past year and for the memories we carry into a new year.

Forgive us, and help us forgive one another for our faults and failures of the year we now put behind us.

Keep us mindful and thankful that you are a God of newness and fresh starts.

For the meal and memories marking this new year, we thank you.


TABLE TALK: Name a blessing from the last year. In what way have you grown in the last year?

What hope do you have for the coming year?

If you were to give the past year a name, what would it be? What name would you give the year ahead?

St. Patrick's Day (March 17)

Christ be with us, be within us. Christ be beside us, behind and before us. Christ comfort us, nourish and strengthen us. Christ is with the hungry, the weak, and the lonely. Christ be among us, feed and send us.

(Excerpted from Let's Say Grace by Robert Hamma, © 1995. Used with permission from the publisher, Ave Maria Press.)

TABLE TALK: What's your favorite "anything green" (food, clothing, something in creation, toy)?

Earth Day (April 22)

Psalm of the Cosmos

    Loving God, loving God,
    all creation calls you blessed,
    and so do we, and so do we.

    Loving God,
    all your creation calls you blessed.
    Your spirit imprints the whole universe
     with life and mystery.
    Yes, all creation proclaims your love.
    We now join this chorus of praise.

    Loving God,
    all of nature calls you blessed,
    and so do we.
    For you have woven an intimate tapestry
    and call it life
    and called it good.

    In love you have formed a universe
    so diverse yet so related,
    and into its web you call us forth
    to walk the land and swim the sea
    with all our natural brothers and sisters.

    To the stars
    we seem no more than blades of grass.
    Yet to you, each of us,
    as each blade of grass and each star,
    is an irreplaceable treasure,
    an essential companion on this journey of love.

    Loving God, as you lure the whole world into salvation,
    guide us with your Spirit
    that we might not be only pilgrims on the earth,
    but pilgrims with the earth,
    journeying home to you.

    Open our hearts to understand
    the intimate relationship that you have
     with all creation.
    Only with this faith can we hope
    for tomorrow's children.
    Amen. Alleluia!

    Loving God, loving God,
    all creation calls you blessed,
    and so do we, and so do we.

(Source unknown, from Web of Creation, "Ecology Resources: Transforming Faith and Society," Used by permission of Web of Creation.)


Excerpted from Peanut Butter and Jelly Prayers by JULIE B. SEVIG. Copyright © 2007 Julie B. Sevig. Excerpted by permission of Church Publishing Incorporated.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents


Introduction, xi,
Section One: What's Cookin'?, 1,
Section Two: Special Occasions, 13,
Section Three: All through the Year, 37,
Section Four: Ordinary Time, 61,

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Peanut Butter and Jelly Prayers 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Every holiday gathering of families should include this book! Reading any prayer will guarantee smiles around the table from both children and adults. What a fun way to spend time with children, family members and friends. This will bring smiles to everyone.