I don’t know about your family, but we pray at meantime as a family. This is true even if we are not at home eating. Even in public we all bow our heads and stand/sit and pray out loud as a family. It usually takes a few minutes to get through it since we have little ones who want to contribute to the prayers.
Our prayers usually look like this: *We bow our heads* Then either my husband, myself or our almost 15-year-old starts us in prayer. We thank God for our many blessings (food, roof over our head, ability to be together as a family, etc..) and ask God to put his healing hand on those in need (if we have anyone in particular, we add them in as well). Then Our autistic son prays (I call it his mini sermons since he greatly speech impaired, his ooohhhwwooohhhhooooohhhhh can last up to 5 minutes. However, we patiently wait until he is finished. We believe just because we don’t understand his prayer, does not mean that God doesn’t. God understands him and that is all that matters. Then our 6,5, and 4 years old’s each want help praying, so we help them too. It usually sounds like “Lord, please bless my family, my friends, and please help those who are in need. Please help me to listen and make better choices” then we all say Amen and go about our ordering/getting our food. More often than not, we are doing this in a Buffett since with a grand total of 10 people, buffets’ just make more sense.
We also have a rule, “no praying ashamed”. Simply put, we do not whisper our prayers. We say them loud enough so our family can hear. Yes, this often means that others can hear it too. We are not trying to push our Christian beliefs on anyone, if a different religion was present and wanted to pray to their God, we would be fine with it. If no one is sacrificing animals or virgins, I’m personally cool with you wanting to believe whatever you want to believe. I only ask that others do the same.
When we are praying, we have had a wide variety of reactions. We have had eye rolls, people staring, whispering and even approaching our family to voice their opinions on our praying. Now anyone who knows my husband and I, knows that we are fiercely protective of our 8 children. We do not protect them differently based upon if they are biologically ours or adopted. They are all our babies, no matter how old they are, and we will protect them with every fiber of our beings. So, some of the random people approaching us whom have had less than stellar remarks have not always had the reaction that they had hoped for. Regardless, we are unashamed of our love for God and do not believe in teaching our children to be “Closet Christians”. By this I mean those who worship God but are afraid to do so in public.
We worship God openly and with courage. We also teach our children that sometimes it is hard to worship God openly because there are those who will not condone it and will even try and punish you for it. We teach them to worship anyway. So, we have had all sorts of reactions. Not all of them have been bad though. We have had some positive remarks, smiles, and once a nice elderly couple paid $20.00 towards our meal. Having 8 children, our bill when going out to eat is easily $100.00, so the $20.00 was very helpful and touched our hearts. We shared the news of the kind couple with our children so they may understand that there are people who appreciate your values. We explained to them that we should not expect rewards for doing the right thing and for practicing our beliefs, but it is nice when our actions move someone so much that they want to spread the love and kindness. Thank you for reading and God Bless.