Eating in the cafe is about more than just food (A-Z Blogging Challenge)

When I first came on to campus, one of the first things I did besides carry all my things into my dorm room was eat dinner in the cafeteria.  I loved the cafe.  I have plenty of memories there, and it was certainly nice to almost never have to worry about what I was going to eat for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

But there was something I learned in a hurry about the cafe.  Everyone prayed before they ate.  If three or four people sit down at a table all at once, everyone takes a moment to pray silently.  If you sit down and your friends are already there in the middle of conversation, you still take a moment and pray silently before you eat.  No one looks at you funny.  Unless you don't pray.

Praying before you eat is certainly not a bad thing, but how often were those fifteen or thirty second prayers authentic?  I'm sure sometimes they were, but I imagine sometimes they were not.

I remember one of my professors telling about a time when he sat down to eat and did not stop to pray.  Someone actually questioned him about it.

"Aren't you going to pray?"


He was trying to stir the pot, but I think it was a pot that needed stirring.

Do you think habits and rituals like this have worth?  At what point do you think they become nothing more than habits and rituals that are more hurtful than helpful?

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3 Responses to Eating in the cafe is about more than just food (A-Z Blogging Challenge)

  1. interesting thoughts Kirra. Jesus warned about repeating words over and over (Matthew 6:7), so perhaps some quick prayers might fall into this category. But on the other hand, we're never to stop praying (1 Thessalonians 5:17). Mealtime prayers might fall under the Matthew passage, so I suspect I need to be more conscientious in those prayer times. Thanks for this great example of what you learned in college!


  2. What's interesting is that sometimes I found it very beneficial. If I found myself praying for/about a bunch of things, I knew I hadn't been praying enough outside of mealtimes. :-)

    And regular mealtime prayer is something I only did while in college.

  3. Depends. Good habits, once formed, can be beneficial, but the repetition can suck all the meaning, and joy out of the thing. I prefer to be
    always in prayer. However, I have no problem with people expressing gratitude to God in anyway they wish, and Im pretty sure Gods not very fussy.


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