You don’t have to pray before you eat something that has nougat in it.
A lot of people don’t know that but if you look deep enough into the Old Testament you’ll find the Hebrew word for nougat which is “chonoug.” A lot of seminaries aren’t teaching that, which is a shame, a dang shame.
I’m kidding of course, but these are the kinds of conversations I have with my friends. Especially when it comes to praying before meals. That’s such a murky subject which is why I’ve created the “Stuff Christians Like Guide to Food Prayers.” Print it out and put it in your purse or wallet for the next time you have a question about proper food prayers.
SCL Guide to Food Prayers:
1. The Stand Up Rule
If you have to stand up while eating, you don’t have to pray. Regardless of what you are eating, standing up makes the food feel very light and insignificant. It’s impossible to cut anything while standing too. You end up just spearing chunks of fruit or meat awkwardly while trying to keep the plate from tipping over onto the carpet, further upsetting the hosts whose dog you just made urinate on the couch because you got it too excited at the Christmas Eve party. That just got personal, but trust me, no prayer required here. Use this easy rhyme to remember: “if you can’t sit, prayer forget it, if you have to stand, God understands.”
2. Wedding food
This rule actually works for any big event where one person prays for the whole room. Listen carefully to that person’s prayer. If it’s good, dig in. If it’s a little weak, you better double up and pray for yourself just to be sure. No offense to the other person, but it’s better safe than sorry. Plus, it makes you look extra holy which is never a bad thing if you’re single and trying to meet a bridesmaid.
3. Drive in
Praying in the car is always a good idea, just keep your eyes open.
4. Progressive Dinner
A progressive dinner is where you travel with people from house to house having one course at each. The question is, where and when do you pray? Is it before the first house or at each house? Good question. I pray at the beginning and then at each house that serves something that might need a little God. When I used to be a bag boy at a grocery store we called it “spot mopping.” You didn’t mop the whole floor, just the few areas that needed it. Same thing applies here. If one house has a fresh manadarin spinach salad, hold the prayer. If the next one has some sort of homemade sausage that may or may not be squirrel, you better start praying.
5. Gas Station Snacks
Nougat? No prayer. Beef jerky? Depends. If you do regular jerky, no problem, you don’t have to pray. If you do that jerky, cheese marriage thing where there’s a tube of orange cheese spooning the jerky, you better pray. Or if the logo on the bag is a guy in overalls or a barrel with rope suspenders, you should pray.
6. Before or After Appetizers
The best way to get a waiter or waitress to come to your table is to start praying. They’ll materialize out of thin air like some sort of prayer interrupting phantoms. I suggest praying in the parking lot before you get in the restaurant. That way, you eliminate any possible chance of the staff trying to crash your prayer party.
7. Eating contests
I weigh about 160. A few years ago, a coworker challenged me to an eating contest at a hamburger joint. I accepted and ended up doing just fine in the “1lb throwdown.” I was able to stomach a one pound cheeseburger without a problem. But then he suggested we do a “2lb showdown.” Have you ever seen two pounds of meat on a plate? It was gross. It was like eating two 1lb meat frisbies. I finished it, but ended up getting the meat sweats and eventually throwing up at work. I am dumb. If you ever find yourself in an eating contest, please pray. Constantly.
I hope today when you sit down for lunch or dinner you’ll consider these pearls of wisdom. I also hope that you won’t take this seriously and email me with comments like “how dare you tell people not to pray when they eat nougat. You heathen.”
(Thanks to Michael and his very cool family for this idea. Please send your ideas to [email protected])