Frank, his son, knew it by heart and invariably prayed this when we dined together at their home. It is sometimes called ‘The Miller’s Prayer’. I wonder if you know it?
Back of the loaf is the snowy flour,
And back of the flour is the mill,
And back of the mill is the wheat and the shower,
And the sun, and the
For mill and flour,
And sun and shower,
We give You
thanks, O Lord. Amen.
This prayer was written by Maltie Davenport Babcock, who was an author ('Thoughts for Everyday Living', 1901) and a song writer (he wrote ‘This is my father’s world’).
F W Boreham refers to Babcock's grace in an essay and says that he first heard it at a New Zealand farmhouse in his Mosgiel days (F W Boreham, 'I Forgot To Say', 175).
You can find it (or at least the first verse) on many web sites that list Graces. If you want to learn to sing it the music can be found at the following Internet address:
It is a grace of thanksgiving. It is a prayer that opens our eyes to all that is behind the supermarket shelves… the flour, the mill, the wheat, the rain, the sun. This verse gets us right back to the basics, even to recognizing the hand of our Creator and Provider.
Image: F W Boreham (front left), with his wife (holding down her hat in the wind), their first daughter and a couple of friends around a well. Location? Somewhere near Mosgiel, New Zealand. Date? About 1896.