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.