My Photo

Business Ventures

Baby Rockstar


Blog powered by Typepad

Tip Jar


« "Celebrity Apprentice": Trace Adkins is my Man! | Main | Starbucks' Blog = Fantastic! »

March 27, 2008



We pray before our meal. I do it if I am alone, or if I am just with one of my kids, or all of us together. It's just a part of us.

Maybe next time just take the lead and pray. Just assume they were busy talking and didn't think about it.


Oh, I should clarify. When I said, "I was never sure if I agreed with them" I meant I wasn't sure if I agreed that not praying aloud was the proper course of action following their conviction--not that I wasn't sure if I agreed that praying aloud is an ostentation thing to do. :)


Really interesting post, Jeremy. I had several friends in college who were convicted that, for them, praying aloud before a meal was simply an ostentatious, I'm-doing-this-to-impress-the-people-I'm-with thing. With those friends, we simply prayed silently to ourselves before a meal. I was never sure if I agreed with them or if I thought the proper response to their conviction should have been an attitude adjustment instead of an action adjustment.

I still tend to follow other people's lead in this department--I don't want to make someone else feel awkward, but I also think it's nice to pray aloud together. And, I will say that when I'm on a first date, the guy scores major bonus points if he takes the lead and suggests thanking God for the meal. In my mind, it is indicative of how much his faith is a part of his everyday life.


It's kind of an interesting question. I think I would have mixed feelings about approaching someone else praying before a meal, at least about the prayer specifically. I might strike up a conversation about faith with them if it didn't seem an intrusion. When folks from our church go out, we usually do pray publicly before a meal. I think if I wanted to pray, though, I would offer or ask if they wanted to pray. If not, I have no problem praying silently. My husband is not a Christian, though, so sometimes it's easy to get out of the habit. Sadly, I don't always remember, although then I often remember after the fact and pray a prayer of thanksgiving.
I think it was probably a bit awkward that the announcement for prayer was made the way it was, but other than that, I don't think I'd make too much of it. People can pray out loud over meals without real thanksgiving, while others can pray silently with real gratitude. It is the heart that God cares about.



If it's simply a prayer before the meal, I absolutely support praying before the meal in a public place. I think it is always so encouraging to see it be done, too.

But I'd definitely say that in general you shouldn't hold prayer meetings in public somewhere, although there are definitely times when it would be appropriate, like in a park or something for example.


Jeremy's examples of "Praying in Public: To Do or Not to Do?" both specifically involved praying during mealtime at a restaurant.

If we move away from that setting and go into the workplace and the scenario is me stepping aside to pray with a co-worker in an open office area or hallway (public places) where others can hear what is being said ... then I think I have a problem with that? Get a room?!

I would think that most of our prayers with God are intimate and deeply personal. You wouldn't have an equally intimate and deeply personal conversation with say your wife in the same public place! So why would you do the same with God? This is just a thought though, does it make any sense where I'm going with this?

Back to Jeremy's Scenario #1, I've taken notice of people praying in the same manner (as I've done myself), but the thought of giving a compliment has never crossed my mind. Maybe because it's never crossed my mind to scold the person(s) at the next table to them for NOT praying before their meal!

Scenario #2, Carla hit it on the head in that yes, we should consider that others may not feel comfortable praying in public. In no way does it mean they are weak in their faith. If I already "pray continually" anyway (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18) and my relationship with God is in the right place, then I highly doubt that God is going to get grumpy over me not praying in public before a meal.

Come to think of it though, during the feeding of the 5000 (yes another public place!), the first 4 gospel accounts of this event all say that Jesus took the five loaves and two fish, looked up to heaven and "gave thanks" before distributing it to the people. Specifically "gave thanks" and not "prayed". So is giving thanks before a meal and praying for a meal now two different things? HAHA! Wow, I'm tired.

I think I've said waaaay too much already ... including quoting some scripture which a rare thing for me ... so my apologies! Jer you did make me pull out my bible though, good job!

Dawna Bankert

Good thought provoking post/comments, in my opinion if we do this...
We keep the "display" wide to the left of embarrassed and wide to the right of pretense. -Carla

then we aren't doing this..
Matthew 6:5-6 - Mark

Silently bowing your head and only talking about it if it is brought up by someone else is not pretentious it is living in the world and not of the world, living as an example, as Jesus did. I really wish I did this more often, I rarely pray before a meal, but always love it when I guy suggests it/does it. It is like he is taking on the role of spiritual leadership, which seems that has been lacking in the world today in general.

Jer this is a good reminder and has given me something to try and change, why look for someone else to do something that you are not even doing, right?

(oh and I agree with not congratulating someone, though it might encourage them that it is appriciated and not offensive, that is more of a; are you being lead by the spirit thing on to do or not to do, cause maybe that person needed to hear it.)


Growing up, we didn't really start praying in restaurants until I was a teenager, but I've done it ever since. I don't think you're being a "weaker brother" -- in some cases, you may actually be the stronger brother.

We're reminded in Scripture to pray without ceasing, and I think pausing before a meal to give thanks is a great way to remind ourselves Who gave us the food we're getting ready to eat.


I typically don't pray before meals at restaurants because I don't do it at home. I didn't grow up in a family that prayed before meals, and as an adult I haven't found a really compelling reason to start.


Scenario 1: cool

Scenario 2:
I think it's weird that he would apologize to everyone. Really the only thing I'd say is maybe you should have just said "Hey guys, can I pray real quick before we eat?" or just bow your head and say a silent prayer.

I don't find it weak at all to say grace in a public place. We are called to be the light of the world, right? So that act of prayer in a public place may be the only light someone sees (even from accross the restaraunt) in an entire day. Besides that, you're just saying thanks to God, and that can never be wrong.

However, I will admit, I'm pretty bad about doing this in public all of the time. It's something I feel like I should do more...not to be old fashioned, but to be obedient and to show my son (17mo old) that prayer is an important part of our lives. Just felt like I should note this, because the above statement might sound judgemental. Not calling that person out, really just realizing, through your post, that I need to be better about this in public as well.

One thing my community group guys have started trying to do is praying at lunch (silently) when eating at work. IE - they're in the cafeteria with whoever and knowing or not knowing about that eating companions faith status, they bow their heads and say a quick prayer...and to me, that's not old fashioned, that's new skool. ;)


I love to see people, particularly families, praying in public. I think it's wonderful that those people are comfortable enough to wear their faith on their sleeve without flaunting it. There are times when I haven't prayed for a meal at a restaurant and it feels wrong somehow. (Although it can be awkward praying for a meal when not everyone in the group is a Christian.) Plus, I think it serves as a silent testament to our faith. Great post!


Good thoughts, everyone! Carla, you make a great point. May I shouldn't have assumed our "host" in scenario #2 was comfortable praying publicly. I'll remember that for next time!


For scenario #1, the only thing I would not have done is congratulate somebody else for praying. We aren't/shouldn't be praying to be honored, but to be humbled. We keep the "display" wide to the left of embarrassed and wide to the right of pretense.

For scenario #2, I guess you just don't ask somebody who doesn't pray in public to do it. We like to show our thankfulness to God, even though He knows it, because we know it pleases Him. So we tend to pray before meals at restaurants, but like you we aren't "religious" about it. (pun fully intended.)We're more diligent about it in our home where we're less distracted, as a matter of fact, our 20-month old squeezes his hands together at the beginning of every meal and shouts, "P(R)AY!!" So we're forgetting to less and less. :)


I generally do pray in public before a meal and probably done out of tradition, but I've always been self-conscious about not making a scene about it. I think it's because I know other Christians who believe the act of praying in public is inappropriate and back their reasoning by quoting Matthew 6:5-6 which says:

"And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.

But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you."

So I guess it's basically saying to avoid ostentatious displays of prayer intended to serve as a display of holier-than-thou pride before others? Some people do it to satisfy their egotistical religious identity?

How do I distinguish myself from them when I pray in public then?

Good topic!

The Secret Life of Kat

For me, I just never want to take for granted that I have food in front of me and I want to model a thankful heart to my kids.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Twitter Tweets

RSS Feed

October 2009

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
        1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30 31
AddThis Social Bookmark Button


Randy Elrod Inspired