I remember when I first came to Kenya in 2005 and found myself in a meeting or at a meal and everyone had to pray. The first few times I became so paranoid that somehow the people in the room would know that I was fake praying. To some extent it was paralyzing, I couldn’t take a moment to hear what people were praying about or appreciate the moment. It never occurred to me either that people might not care. I had this totally irrational fear that they would discover I was fake praying and then cast me out of the community.
After a few prayer sessions this irrational fear slowly slipped away and instead I found myself annoyed at the concept of always having to pray. After a much longer time I began to appreciate the meeting or meal or even travel prayers. I discovered that regardless of god being in the mix, prayers were always relevant to the specific event. They allowed the room to take a moment to focus on the task ahead (or reflect on the task behind) and get everyone centered and working together.