There you are at the restaurant, directing everyone to make the sign of the cross while your toddler is chewing on a crayon. Your oldest is totally embarrassed that your are praying in public and the other kids are mad because the family one table over is allowed to have an iPad at dinner. Why can't we have an iPad at dinner?! Because I said so!
Ok, sorry, got a little carried away there. But here's the deal...
Stay strong when you're trying to squeeze in that awkward restaurant prayer. You're not trying to be self-righteous or preachy in public. You're just trying to be yourselves - just like you would at home.
Believe it or not, we happen to live in a country that widely supports a family who prays. About 95% of Americans support the idea of our National Day of Prayer.* That's pretty inspiring.
And the truth is, more often than not, that tap from a fellow customer leaving the restaurant is to say, "It was so nice to see your family praying before your meal." I've never once received a tap followed by, "That family prayer was appalling and I've reported you to the manager."
So, with all that said, I'd like to share the special restaurant prayer I learned as a young child and carry with me to this day:
"Lord, bless this food we are about to eat and bless the hands that prepared it. And a special prayer for everyone staring at us right now. Amen."