Sweaty palms. Hives. Stomach in knots. A loss for words.
It’s what some of us go through as we begin to pray aloud in a group. And there’s nothing wrong with that. I’ve had four conversations with awesome Christian people in the last few weeks that have explained their desire to pray aloud but the anxiety that rises up keeps them from showing up or contributing to praying aloud.
I get it. Been there done that. I’m now at a comfortable place in my prayer life – both privately and corporately but it hasn’t always been that way. And while there’s nothing wrong with praying in our hearts silently while someone else prays aloud there’s something very special about joining the prayer conversation verbally with our brothers and sisters in Christ.
If you desire to pray aloud but you just can’t seem to overcome your fear consider these 3 thoughts that will help you move forward in your public prayer life.
- If you can say it you can pray it. If you can read a sentence out loud then you can pray out loud. And reading a verse of scripture is a powerful way to pray or praise God. P.S. It’s okay to pray with your eyes open. Especially if driving.
Mom’s In Prayer is a great resource that lists ample scriptures that tell us who God is. And what a great way to praise God aloud than to pray scripture back to Him telling Him that we believe He is who He says He is. To access this list within the MIP website you’ll click on “Leaders Corner” at the top bar and then on “Prayer Sheets” at the drop down and then “Attributes of God” on the side pop up.
- Keep it short and simple. Long and lofty prayers are not the goal. Eloquent words are not necessary. Remembering that prayer is simply conversation with our personal and intimate Creator will help us not feel so pressured to sound a certain way when we talk to God. Yes, He is holy and prayer is sacred but we are his children and we can approach him as our Father with complete ease and comfort. We get to talk to him. P.S. It’s even okay to laugh in prayer.
- Practice praying aloud when you’re alone. Sounds strange but as we form a habit of prayer and talking to God with ease throughout our day the easier it becomes to transfer that into public places. It becomes a more natural part of who we are. In the car, cleaning the house, in the shower, etc. Go ahead, practice. Stop right now and genuinely in your heart and through audible words tell God one thing that you believe to be true about Him and thank Him for that. See, you just praised God out loud and you didn’t die. Same thing with our requests. Just speak your request to God in the same words you would tell your best friend over coffee. “But God’s not the same as my best friend over coffee.” You’re right. He’s not. But when the King of Kings died for my sins and your sins something very special happened. It gave us direct access to God Himself because he loves us so much. And He wants to hear from us in our natural voice. P.S. It’s even okay to pray on the toilet.
Okay so the next time you’re at church or in the office and someone just asked you to pray about something, do it. Do it right then and right there. Think about a verse you know that tells you who God is and praise him for that attribute and then ask him in light of who he is to hear your specific request. And if you haven’t passed out from a panic attack then utter another short praise to Him. And one prayer after another you will soon see how your prayer life will take on a totally new life. And all for his glory.