Praying to bless the food at restaurants is a badge of honor among fundamentalists for to not bless the food would be tantamount to a rejection of Christianity itself. Also, it presents an opportunity for outreach to all the other tables around you and (if your voice is loud enough) the kitchen staff as well.
As with most things fundamentalist, there are rules that must be followed for the restaurant prayer:
– The prayer must be loud. Prayers who mumble into their fried chicken will be assumed to be ashamed of the gospel. Bellow it out or run the risk of being called a compromiser.
– The prayer must be long. A simple “bless this food” will never do. Running out of things to say? Pray for the hands that prepared it. Pray for the digestion of the people eating it. Pray for the missionaries from who’s country it originally came. If the food is still hot by the time the prayer is done, he has failed.
– The prayer must use biblical words and phrases. Phrases like “Jehovah-Jireh” and “countenance” are a must for the restaurant prayer. This is no prayer of a neophyte. This is the only chance some folks will ever have to hear someone actually using 17th Century English and that isn’t a thing to be taken lightly.
– There must be hand-holding. Grab the sweaty palm of the person next to you and hang on for dear life. Try not to think about where their hand has been and the fact that you’re getting ready to eat. The one exception to the hand-holding rule of restaurant prayer may be if there are two people in the circle who are dating and seated next to each other. Perhaps grabbing the edges of the same napkin or holding the ends of a knife will suffice to let the circle be unbroken without the need for gratuitous hand-holding.
9 thoughts on “Praying Loudly in Restaurants”
ahh, my family still does this…every time. My ex-boyfriend would get freaked out by this ritual every time my family invited him to dinner(which was not often becuase he is catholic). I still remember the look on his face when my grandmother reached for his hand as my grandfather bellowed. We would both just look at each other and silently giggle. I still hated that evereyone always stared we must have looked like a bunch of loons. Oh the joys of growing up fundy.
At least it’s better than living in the time of Jesus – then you had to wash your hand seven times before eating. Same idea, I guess. And Jesus didn’t always do it, which makes his holiness suspect…
Then again, He may have had a superior immune system…or germs knew better than to mess with Him. 😉
I was at a HoJo’s with a group of about a dozen or fifteen people from my home church years ago, and as we prepared to eat, the pastor’s wife had us all join in singing “Thank You, Lord, For Saving My Soul.” It was a moment I have never forgotten. You can understand why. oops:
I went to Cracker Barrel with a friend today and witnessed this very prayer by a group of ladies. they all held hands. I certainly felt like a heathen.
Yep…I have been on both sides of the fence. After my Fundy days, I waited tables for a time and once some people came from my former Fundy church. I was forced to wait their table. “So what are you doing with your life?…we are now in full time Christian ministry!” I felt like dirt.
I was with some friends, and the father stood up, cleared his throat, and then started praying. Moderately embarrassing. 😳
Thanks to the “Random Post”!
*sings* “Will the cir-cuuul Be unbro-kehn By an by Lord, Byyyy and by-y-y There’s a betterrr Home awaitin’ In the sky Lord Iiin the sky”
So much for avoiding “vain repetitions” and empty religious ritualism…
My question is: where did this ritual / tradition come from? I don’t find any precedent for praying before every meal or every gathering where there is some food and beverage.
Infact, I find the traditional prayer pose [tm] to be opposite of what Jesus taught his disciples. Doesn’t the scriptural account say that he lifted his eyes towards heaven? 🙄