Am I praying too loud?
By Jessica Brodie
“Shh, Mom, don’t say it so loud!”
We were at a fast food restaurant, and I’d breezily settled the kids at the table, doled out napkins and ketchup, then used my chipper, no-nonsense mom voice as I offhandedly asked whose turn it was to bless the meal. I wasn’t trying to show off our prayer life to the world or anything, was just trying to handle family business swiftly and efficiently.
But I guess other people heard me, or at least one of my kids thought they did, because I got the stink-eye from my preschooler.
Apparently, my preschooler thought I was talking about prayer a bit too loud for the other restaurant patrons, and my child was embarrassed.
Awhile back, that might have stopped me in my tracks. I’ve written before about being self-conscious and a people-pleaser. The old me might have been so concerned with how our prayer looked to others—if it appeared like we were being showy, for instance—that I would have cut it short, mumbled a quick “thanks-for-the-meal-amen,” and jumped into dinner.
But the “new me” knew I wasn’t being showy. I was just doing life at our speed in that season. And God knew that, too.
Besides, as Jesus said, “If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels” (Mark 8:38 NIV).
So I squared my shoulders, smiled at my child, and thanked the Lord properly for our meal.
It’s been years since that happened, and none of my kids has any memory of this. But the other day my mom heart soared when, out for dinner at a local fast food place, we sat down for dinner.
And before I could even say a word, one of our kids piped up, “Can I say the blessing?”
My prayer today is to keep my heart and intentions focused only on God and what I can do to please and honor Him, whether that’s praying in a fast-food restaurant or anything else.