If prayer is "raising our minds and hearts to God," and being in a relationship with God, then anything can be prayer. Preparing a meal can certainly be a
wonderful prayer. And, if our cooking is for our family or others with whom we live, then it can be a great act of love.
It starts, as always, with desire. While I'm putting on my apron, or getting out my equipment, I can begin by naming my desire for this time.
"Dear Lord, as you nourish us with your love, let me prepare this nourishment with you at my side. Give me the joy of being creative and loving, self-sacrificing and generous. As part of my baptism and my priesthood, let me offer this meal as a religious experience for me and for my family. Thank you for your love. I now prepare to share it. Amen."
Of course, we could add many words that are special to our circumstances.
"Let this meal nourish Atang with your love. She so full of tension and worry. I love him and deeply desire to offer her this meal as something different, and a sign of my care and our faith."
It can also be.
"Oh, Lord, Gabs needs you so much these days. He seems so distracted and not himself. Through our prayer and the sharing of this meal, give him the security of your love. And through our faith in your dying and rising for us, help him place the difficulties he is experiencing at school into his relationship with you."
Just imagine how different our "getting dinner together" can be, if we fill those early busy moments of preparation with prayer, naming our desires so explicitly.