A Prayer for Holiday Meal Conversations
By Ashley Moore
“Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.” – Colossians 4:6, ESV
We have a running joke in our house that all conversations around the dinner table somehow always come back to poop. Maybe it’s the season of life we are in with small children, but somehow we always end up there no matter where the conversation starts. But lately, conversations around the table seem to be a bit more on the serious side. Maybe it’s the political climate. Or Covid left us all a little dusty on conversation etiquette.
It could be because of the constant advancements in technology and the ability to air our unedited opinions openly. We forget that our words impact people. Who could have guessed that I would long for the days when the conversations centered around bodily functions? With the holidays quickly approaching, we know we will soon be gathered around the table again. Perhaps we will be dining with family and friends we haven’t seen in some time.
Let us heed the scriptures as these times of fellowship over a meal draw closer. In our key passage, Paul addressed the church at Colossae, reminding them to be mindful of the words they say. He counseled them to use conversations as an opportunity to be salt for listeners. Paul was saying that each time we open our mouths to talk to those close to us, we have two choices, we can be divisive, or we can be ministers of reconciliation for Jesus Christ.
In those days, salt was used as a preservative because they didn’t have the modern-day luxury of refrigeration. So they would salt their food heavily to make it last longer to provide sustenance that stretched beyond a single meal. I’m wondering if we could apply this scripture by asking ourselves a simple question before we engage in conversation during the upcoming gatherings: “Will what I’m about to say preserve relationships or cause them to deteriorate?”
With the Spirit’s help, we can control what we say. We can let our speech set the tone by being gracious to each guest. We can be perfectly seasoned with the good news of the gospel if conversations become overly negative, worldly, or divisive. We can pray before and during holiday gatherings asking God for wisdom to know how we ought to respond to each person (James 1:5).
Although we don’t have much control over the words other people will say around the table, we can pray beforehand for holiday meal conversations to be glorifying and Christ-centered. And should someone begin to say something that is not gracious or seasoned with salt, we can pray that the Lord would set a guard over our mouths and keep watch over our lips (Psalm 141:3).
Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank you that we can come boldly before your throne of grace and find help in our time of need (Hebrews 4:16). Lord, you know your children are going to be gathering around tables soon. And God, you know how difficult it has been to relate to one another lately with all the divisive news and controversy in the media. We have so many differing opinions, leading to relational strife between the people we love most.
God, forgive us when our conversations do not honor you. Forgive us when we place more value on our opinions than on the people who bear your image right in front of us. Thank you for covering our past, present, and future sins with the blood of your Son. God, will you set guards over our mouths and watch over our lips at these gatherings? Give us the wisdom to respond to each person with grace and truth. God, help us to be fluent in the gospel, pointing others to the hope we have in you. And Lord, remind us, even if things don’t go perfectly at these gatherings, that we have been promised perfect communion with you and our brothers and sisters for all eternity when we are reconciled to you after this earthly life passes away. Our hope is not in the perfect holiday gathering but in you! But Lord, if you will, let these gatherings be a shadow of the glory to come when we sit at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb with you!
In Jesus’ name, amen.
Photo credit: ©GettyImages/SeventyFour
Ashley Moore is a writer and host of be the two™podcast. She is known for her relatability and for passionately writing and speaking about mental, emotional, and relational health from a biblical worldview. She has written for Kingdom Edge Magazine, Guideposts, Crosswalk, The Secret Place, enLIVEn, The Bubbling Brook and more. If Ashley isn’t writing, you can find her with her husband, three children, and two floppy-eared Goldens on their south Georgia farmland. The best way to connect with Ashley is to grab a free devotional or Bible study and join her newsletter at free.ashleynicolemoore.com.
LISTEN to More Christmas Prayers on LifeAudio
Teach Us to Pray is a FREE prayer podcast hosted by iBelieve writer Christina Patterson. Each week, she gives you practical, real-life tips on how to grow your faith and relationship with God through the power of prayer. To listen to her episode on What to Pray in the Morning for a Worry-Free Day, click below!
Now that you’ve prayed, are you in need of someone to pray for YOU? Click the button below!
Visit iBelieve.com for more inspiring prayer content.