Don’t Pray Before You Eat

It happened like this…

Cheryl and I were eating at a restaurant…

That’s happened many times before…

There was a large family gathered at a table nearby…

We’ve seen that before too….

The family prayed before their meal came….

That was nice…

We noticed…

Then their food came…

The order wasn’t right…

They were mad…

They made it known that they were made…

Numerous times…

They were just plain rude to the waitress…

We felt bad for her…

Cheryl even apologized for “their” behavior after they left…

It made me wonder….

If you’re going to be a rude customer, should you even bother to pray before you eat?

Aren’t you sending mixed signals?

Just asking…

What do you think?

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Ron Edmondson

Author Ron Edmondson

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Join the discussion 37 Comments

  • MMM says:

    I know it's not what you're saying, Ron, but surely we're not saying that people can't or shouldn't pray if they may sin within the coming minutes. I can't imagine they intended to be rude at the outset of the meal, just like none of us intend to do any number of things we do when we get caught up in a moment and sin. If someone praying and then sinning makes them a hypocrite, then we're all hypocrites, yes?

    • ronedmondson says:

      Good point. This couple was rude start to finish. In fact, I've moved now so I can say it…I knew them and they are typically always rude. Sometimes I hide some facts to make a larger point without calling someone out online.
      Twitter: Ronedmondson

  • […] from Christ. One of the best illustrations of this comes from a Ron Edmondson’s blog titled “Don’t Pray Before You Eat.” As Ron and his wife enjoyed an evening out at a restaurant they observed a large family at a […]

  • RamFam says:

    Their praying before their meal was not the problem and was not the action needing correcting. Their public ugliness towards fellow humans (those in a serving position) following their public announcement of being Christians (public prayer) that was the problem and action needing correcting.

    Therefore, shouldn’t the request of Christians be: When praying publicly, include in your requests that He will remind you and enpower you to just as publicly (and hopefully graciously) love all those around you, thereby being a magnetic ambassador of Christ in all you do and say?

  • Notice all the “fish” on the backs of cars parked at “gentimen’s” clubs… The issue isn’t the act of prayer, it’s the lack of fruit. Yes pray, but live as Christ…

  • Came here by way of another post. We frequent a Mexican restaurant in our town often after our Sunday worship. The waiter we like also comes to the church I pastor. He has expressed several times his dislike for the woman preacher in town who is rude and demanding and downright nasty when they visit. I want to go over and shake her and tell her she is making it difficult for some of us who are trying to live our faith. I try to go the extra mile by tipping him extra, hopefully to make up for her.

    • ronedmondson says:

      Thanks for stopping by and for being one who is helping the cause of Christ by the example of your life! Come back again!
      Twitter: Ronedmondson

  • […] read a blog post recently where the writer was out for an evening with his wife. He over heard the table next to […]

  • […] from Christ. One of the best illustrations of this comes from a Ron Edmondson’s blog titled “Don’t Pray Before You Eat.” As Ron and his wife enjoyed an evening out at a restaurant they observed a large family at a […]

  • Ron! Have you ever heard of the term "Spiritual Fruits or Religious Nuts?". We Christians need to walk the talk.

  • Peter_P says:

    Preach it, brother

  • I'd rather be rude and obnoxious without apology. Sooo, I don't pray before meals. I don't put churchy bumper stickers on my car. I don't wear crosses around my neck. I don't tattoo John 3.16 on my arm.

    That way, I'm free to express myself in any way I choose. Flipping people off while flying in the fast lane… oh yeah!!

    (TongueInCheek)

  • ronedmondson says:

    Good point
    Twitter: Ronedmondson

  • Michael Frye says:

    Luke 18:9-14

    If the purpose of the prayer is true to what prayer is supposed to be then the minds of those participating in it should be in the proper frame when a "mistake" by others is made. That is, tolerant and forgiving. I don't doubt the sincerity of their prayer, but I might doubt their motives.

    The better question might be, can the Holy Spirit work to reach people (non-believers) in people who act this way? Following Christ is more than a simple prayer at dinner in a restaurant. Was their prayer "bless this food"? Or, was it "bless this food and provide for us an opportunity to reveal Christ"? There is a difference.

  • Joseph says:

    Yes, you are sending mixed signals. However, praying before a meal has now come to be just a habit per say. When we pray for our food are we really relaying to God that we are thankful for Him blessing us with food? It shouldn't be just a habit but it should be a meaningful thank you to God.

  • Eliza Huie says:

    Reminds me of something a friend told me. She was driving and saw the car in front of her had the bumper sticker "Honk if you love Jesus" on it. She does so she honked. She got the bird from driver!

  • ronedmondson says:

    Absolutely.
    Twitter: Ronedmondson

  • alszambrano says:

    I helped put myself through college as a waitress. Any guesses as to the average server's least favorite shift to work? Sunday lunch. Christians were viewed as rude, demanding, grouchy, bad tippers and messy (because of all their children). I was embarrassed to admit to my coworkers I was a believer, I was afraid they'd think the same about me. I even remember talking with a table once about their ministry as a worship team – we chatted for a long time because I was playing with my church worship team too – they left almost no tip and a tract on the table when they left. I hated being embarrassed because of how others misused my Father's name – it was a great learning time for me in how to treat people in the service industry, and in examining how I represent the name of Christ.

    Not only do we always pray before every meal out, but we pray a blessing on our sever, and never leave a bad tip. If the service is truly poor, we will leave a fair tip – if its great, we'll leave something a little extra.

  • @staffordjm says:

    "Thou shall not take the Lord's name in vain" can more accurately be translated as "Thou shall not sully the name of the Lord". Every action we take is scrutinized by those around us. Nobody is perfect and God's grace is sufficient to cover all our sins. But it still breaks my heart to see things like this.

  • Geek for Him says:

    I feel the same way. I also feel the same way about the icthus fish on the back of your car. If you drive like an a-hole – you better not have that fish on your car.

    I hate to worry about appearances in life, BUT if it's an easy fix, fix it!

  • Bob Bachand says:

    I see the same thing my friend. Hypocrites have a tendency to not know they are.

  • @musicgirl77 says:

    WOW. How sad. These are the type of people that give "Christians" a really bad rep with the rest of the world. Obviously, to them its not about anything but jumping through the hoops of a "works" list. This is just really disappointing and sad.

  • My grandfather used to pray before every meal. He didn’t ask anyone to join him, he just sat there silently and prayed. If you made noise while he did it you got in trouble. This as well as other hypocritical actions from him and the other various “Chritians” I encountered in my younger years contributed greatly in keeping me from giving my life to Christ until I was 36. However I now try to use those memories to help believers see the negative impact they can have on others and to ensure I am showing others Christ’s love through my actions and words.

  • Jon says:

    I say that either that family doesn't truly get Christianity, or they're doing it more out of habit or as a "Hey look at me I pray" before the other people in the restaurant. Can you say Pharisee?

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