Saturday, February 13, 2010

#65 The Stealth Restaurant Prayer

The Great Commission calls Believers to make disciples of all nations.  This has driven many white Christian to "Go tell it on the mountain."  Unfortunately, the "mountain" somehow doesn't apply to restaurants.  In fact, many white Christians actually attempt to hide any outward appearance of their faith when they are in restaurants. This especially applies to the pre-meal prayer and has necessitated the invention of the stealth restaurant prayer.

The holy-habit of praying before every meal is an important routine in a white Christians life, yet, for some reason, many white Christians feel awkward doing this when they eat around others.  Enter the stealth restaurant prayer.  This prayer- the text-message equivalent of a normal prayer- fills the pre-meal prayer obligation (or "probligation") while allowing the white Christian in a restaurant to blend in with his secular surroundings like some sort praying human/chameleon hybrid. "Hide it under a bushel, YES!"

Misinterpreting the parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector to further their social comfortability, the white Christian reasons that they would rather identify with the "Publican" than the Pharisee.  This leads to a remarkably quick prayer: something along the lines of, "Lord, thanks for the food, Amen."  All unnecessary words having been removed for the sake of expediency:  "Dear Lord, thank(s) you for the food that you have provided for me.  In Jesus' name, Amen."  

To further camouflage the stealth prayer, all other recognizable outward signs of prayer are altered.  If a family is accustomed to holding hands during prayer, the restaurant version of family prayer won't include hand-holding- only muted mumbles across the table.  If the solo-dining white Christian typically closes his eyes and folds his hands for prayer, in a restaurant, a simple bow of the head and a quick eye close for 51% of the prayer will do just fine.  "Was that person praying, sneezing, or simply leaning in to savor the smell of his food?" wonders the average restaurateur witnessing a stealth prayer.

The stealth prayer can lead to some even more awkward situations- particularly in the business lunch setting.  Due to the incredibly short nature of the stealth restaurant prayer, the white Christian may try to squeeze this prayer into any number of situations including when the lunch-mate is ordering food, when the conversation turns the attention in a direction away from the table, or simply during a lull in the conversation.  If caught in mid-stealth prayer, the lunch-mate is forces to either an awkward apology, or at the very least a confused conversation stumble.

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5 comments:

J. Michael Scholten said...

straddling the line between satire and rebuke rather narrowly here...

anna said...

...but this post is DEAD ON! could not be more true.

Anonymous said...

You know... this is true. And very sad. Why is it that we can't fess up to our faith, and we feel that we have to apologize for it (which we do)? All of these posts, in fact. We're more and more ridiculous, just as these "satirical" posts are.

Joshua said...

Funny, funny stuff. I've had many an uncomfortable moments when my dad let us in a stealth prayer but it was still long enough for the waiter to stand next to the table looking confused.

julia said...

And the waiters usually know when a Christian has been at one of their tables--when the tip comes. :-)