Here’s the way it works out in a public setting…
Let’s say you’re at a family gathering. Relatives have driven in from every direction, and a feast is on the table. This being a momentous occasion, it will require a prayer of blessing of some significance. So, naturally, they call on you to pray. And even though all they’re asking for is a blessing of the meal, you being the person you are (hypocrite, Pharisee, public performer), you give them their money’s worth.
“O Lord, Thou who hast made the heavens and the earth…” (You go on like that for a while. This isn’t bad, but it quickly becomes filler.)
“Father in Heaven, we stand in awe at Thy blessings upon our land…” (And now you talk to the Lord about the history of America and try to work in something Ben Franklin said if possible. Or you quote from the God Bless America.)
“And now we come to enjoy this repast which has been set before us…” (Don’t call it a meal or food or groceries. Repast is a good theological word. No one is quite sure what it means, but that doesn’t matter. At this point, you thank the Lord for the hands that prepared it. Mention Granny’s fried apple pies if you really want to score points.)
“We would be amiss if we did not give thanks for the memories of Grandpa George and Grandma Bessie, without whom none of us would be here today…” (And you’ll probably want to work in a few things about Grandpa’s work ethic and Grandma’s faith.)
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