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VonNoble

Prayers Before Meals

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What is your take away when you observe someone praying before a meal in a public restaurant?

Why do we stop and thank God for food - but not for other things?

Shouldn't you be thanking God for other stuff just as vital periodically?

If you know someone is praying in a public place - they gotta be doing something that indicates or convey's that they are praying (folded hands, bowed head....something to tip you off) - if they are thanking God - why show it off to everyone else - can't God hear them silently and without drawing attention to themselves?

Why do we insist on holding hands with everyone round the table when saying meal prayers - good occasion to spread germs as most germs are on the hands? How many colds are contracted by this spiritual bit of ancient ritual?

Why don't most homes pray before breakfast? After all they made it through the night?

Why only the evening meal?

I dunno about this custom - seems rooted in stuff that is not of this period or this century. But that is just an opening thought .....

Von

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I like to always give thanks for the things that have given their lives to sustain me. Hopefully me being the best person I can be will help give honor to those beings and their sacrifice. I do it privately though because it is between me and the force that guides me.

After I left the Assembly of God Church I attended I still had friends there and I would dine out with some of them at least once a week. They always seemed to enjoy making a public spectacle of giving thanks when dining out. Quite often they would try to put me on the spot in front of other members of the church and when it came time for the prayer they would volunteer me, knowing I no longer believed as they still did. One time in a packed Pizza Hut I had had enough of this and so I stood and raised both my arms to the heavens and cried out 'OH MONGI WE THANK THEE FOR THIS FOOD!!!" you know they never volunteered me again for the meal prayer.

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The actual blessing of the food was from ancient times when they blessed it so they would hopefully be protected from getting sick or illness ~chuckles~. It was more a purification rite than thankful statement.

If you a Jew or Christian it says not to be repititious, then doles a repititious prayer...I think what it was really trying to say was "Say what you mean, mean what you say". ~chuckles~, and to be sincere in your prayers and not just say the same thing over and over and over ~grins~.

I personally don't care for showing gratitude towards any divine power, however I do love meditation ~smiles~.

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Methinks somewhere in this book called bible there is an admonition to go into a closet if you wish to pray.

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Methinks somewhere in this book called bible there is an admonition to go into a closet if you wish to pray.

Aye, it was designed to take away man's pride because he loves to be heard so that he can gain power...hence Jesus gave specific instructions to avoid this kind of superficial blabbering, but alas they still pray aloud to be heard before men ~smiles~. At least they aren't on every street corner anymore like they were in the days of milk and honey ~smiles~. Today's water down version is make sure you are praying for the right reasons!

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I have an ex, or as I like to say "extra", Uncle who is a Presbyterian Minister.

I've always been taken with how subtle he can be when he gives thanks, even with

my pack of Quakers, Jews and Heathens trying to behave in the background.

I see how much it means to him, how personal his commitment is.

That said, my parents made attempts to have us "say grace' when we were young.

I was always more grateful for other things as I recall than grateful to "god" for "food".

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One time in a packed Pizza Hut I had had enough of this and so I stood and raised both my arms to the heavens and cried out 'OH MONGI WE THANK THEE FOR THIS FOOD!!!" you know they never volunteered me again for the meal prayer.

I wouldn't have had the guts to do that - but I love that you did!

Von

The actual blessing of the food was from ancient times when they blessed it so they would hopefully be protected from getting sick or illness ~chuckles~. It was more a purification rite than thankful statement.

Not sure I get this....purification?

Can you elaborate...new concept for me....thx

If you a Jew or Christian it says not to be repititious, then doles a repititious prayer...I think what it was really trying to say was "Say what you mean, mean what you say". ~chuckles~, and to be sincere in your prayers and not just say the same thing over and over and over ~grins~.

Oh...you hit upon one of the very aspects that irks me so.....

Rote...meaningless - obligatory......duty-esque.....often racing thru it - what's the point....

I personally don't care for showing gratitude towards any divine power, however I do love meditation ~smiles~.
I totally understand that position - thx Von
Methinks somewhere in this book called bible there is an admonition to go into a closet if you wish to pray.

Yeah....I even found that part...and it really seems to emphasize NOT drawing attention to one's self....interesting how the application is oft far afield of the directive,no?

von

That said, my parents made attempts to have us "say grace' when we were young.

I was always more grateful for other things as I recall than grateful to "god" for "food".

Do you think it is because parents don't explain the ritual? Or perhaps the time for having this ritual is long gone? Or is it, perhaps that there is a better time and place to gather for prayer?

Like you - there were periods in our family life as a kid - when this was instituted and tolerated and other times when it wasn't even a blip on the radar.

Why do you suppose we cling so hard to this one?

Von

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What is your take away when you observe someone praying before a meal in a public restaurant?

If people want to thank whatever God(s) they believe in for their food, that's their business, not mine. I've got no problem with it whatsoever, in public or in private.

However, I worked as a waiter for many years, and my take on it then was considerably different. Nine times out of ten, if people prayed over their food when I delivered it to them, it was the kiss of death - it was a clear indication that if I was going to get a tip from them at all, it would be a very poor tip.

I always wondered why the similar mindset between those who pray over their food, and those who are cheap tippers. I have to confess, I never did come up with any sort of an answer.

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If people want to thank whatever God(s) they believe in for their food, that's their business, not mine. I've got no problem with it whatsoever, in public or in private.

However, I worked as a waiter for many years, and my take on it then was considerably different. Nine times out of ten, if people prayed over their food when I delivered it to them, it was the kiss of death - it was a clear indication that if I was going to get a tip from them at all, it would be a very poor tip.

I always wondered why the similar mindset between those who pray over their food, and those who are cheap tippers. I have to confess, I never did come up with any sort of an answer.

It's been a few years now, but I saw the results of a study done once across the various Christian sects on Education and Income levels. Catholics topped the list in income and education while Baptists and the more fundamentalists movements like Pentecostal, Assembly of God and deliverance type churches fell at the bottom of the list in both categories.

My personal experiences also tell me that fundamentalist seem more extroverted than those at the top of the list. The Mass ceremonies themselves will help me make my point. Look at the Catholic mass and compare it to a Pentecostal one. One is like a Funeral and the other a Rave. (It's been years since I've been to either, but I doubt much has changed). I think the introverted type who likes a rigid system where they can feel some type of control, would be drawn to the Catholic Mass, while those who like action and excitement and just like to go with the flow would be drawn to the Pentecostal Mass.

Add to that the extra burden of paying one's tithes that is pounded into one's brain in the Pentecostal sects and I think your perception of the more extroverted people who like to pray in public and tip poorly seems quite logical.

In most cases they just wouldn't have the extra money to tip.

Either that or they just sensed you were a non-believer.

Edited by Fawzo

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I think that it is important for us to thank God for everything - which I why I do not like it when people try to force saying Grace on me. However, if someone is praying, I always wait for them to finish as a mark of respect.

I do not stop before I eat to "say Grace" mainly because I believe I am thanking our "higher authority" by trying to be a good person, and that is showing respect.

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It's been a few years now, but I saw the results of a study done once across the various Christian sects on Education and Income levels. Catholics topped the list in income and education while Baptists and the more fundamentalists movements like Pentecostal, Assembly of God and deliverance type churches fell at the bottom of the list in both categories.

My personal experiences also tell me that fundamentalist seem more extroverted than those at the top of the list. The Mass ceremonies themselves will help me make my point. Look at the Catholic mass and compare it to a Pentecostal one. One is like a Funeral and the other a Rave. (It's been years since I've been to either, but I doubt much has changed). I think the introverted type who likes a rigid system where they can feel some type of control, would be drawn to the Catholic Mass, while those who like action and excitement and just like to go with the flow would be drawn to the Pentecostal Mass.

Add to that the extra burden of paying one's tithes that is pounded into one's brain in the Pentecostal sects and I think your perception of the more extroverted people who like to pray in public and tip poorly seems quite logical.

In most cases they just wouldn't have the extra money to tip.

Either that or they just sensed you were a non-believer.

I considered the tithing bit, but always felt that if they could afford to eat at full service, or even fine dining, restaurants, then they should be able to afford a decent tip.

Smokers and drinkers tend to spend a lot of money on alcohol and cigarettes, in many cases, I'm sure they spend at least 10% of their income on these things. The people who prayed when they got their food very seldom smoked or drank alcohol with their meals. It seems to me that smokers and drinkers should be as broke as the people who tithe, yet smokers and drinkers are usually the best tippers.

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Methinks somewhere in this book called bible there is an admonition to go into a closet if you wish to pray.

"And when ye pray, pray not as the Gentiles do, on street corners or in groups showing everyone how good they are at praying, instead go into a secret place and say thy prayer to My Father". Or sumfink like that anyway, depending on what Bible you read.

Revd John

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Prayer is often rooted in ritual, and ritual is only the outer cloak of one's beliefs...

I was watching a show where the police had set up a 'bait car' to catch car theives. Two guys got in and after a minute or so they decided to pray that they would not get caught. Of course they did when the police shut off the car with a remote control device....

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What is your take away when you observe someone praying before a meal in a public restaurant?

=ok,whatever they believe.hope their food doesn't get cold.

Why do we stop and thank God for food - but not for other things?

=i don't,i thank the person who cooked it for me,but i gaurentee they are no diety.

Shouldn't you be thanking God for other stuff just as vital periodically?

=who for what?again,if someone does something for me,i thank them.

If you know someone is praying in a public place - they gotta be doing something that indicates or convey's that they are praying (folded hands, bowed head....something to tip you off) - if they are thanking God - why show it off to everyone else - can't God hear them silently and without drawing attention to themselves?

=you've never been to a penecostal service have you von? :wacko:

Why do we insist on holding hands with everyone round the table when saying meal prayers - good occasion to spread germs as most germs are on the hands? How many colds are contracted by this spiritual bit of ancient ritual?

=i notice this more with those of the catholic belief and it's related spinoffs.it relays a sense of togtherness to them.if everyone has sense and good manners,they will have killed some of the germs prior by washing their hand(and keep their fingers out of body openings during said prayer).

Why don't most homes pray before breakfast? After all they made it through the night?

Why only the evening meal?

=why waste your breath speaking to noone in the air?oh yeah,people with kids say the same thing.on a more serious note,some christians i know do pray at every meal.

I dunno about this custom - seems rooted in stuff that is not of this period or this century. But that is just an opening thought .....

i don't either.thanks for your thoughts von,and for allowing me to share mine.

Von

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I say a silent prayer before meals. Nobody has to know about my spirituality.

Hermano Luis

Nobody has to know about your spirituality, but methinks it would be quite noticeable to all if one were truly spiritual.

Hard to hide that light under a basket!

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