Are you afraid to pray?

Has this ever happened to you? 

You are in a small room, surrounded by a group of people. You’ve spent the last hour having a great conversation. It’s a few minutes before you are scheduled to end your small group, so all of a sudden your palms begin to sweat and your heart begins to race. 

You know before you can leave, you’ll have to have prayer time. Who is going to pray? The leader never likes to pray, so she always calls on a member of the group! 

Oh my goodness…what if she calls on you?!?! 

  • What will you say? 
  • Are you going to fumble for the right words?
  • You worry that if you don’t pray well, people will see right through you and realize that your relationship with God must not be as strong as theirs is.
  • Or what if you say something in your prayer that isn’t Biblical?

Raise your hand if you’ve been in a similar situation 🙋‍♀️

Maybe it’s your parent calling on you to pray at the dinner table, or a Sunday school teacher. 

No matter what the situation, public prayer can be one of those things that makes us doubt our worth or abilities before God and our peers.

What if I told you that there is absolutely nothing to worry about? What if I told you that your words in those moments simply don’t matter at all? 

“Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.” 

Jeremiah 29:12

God doesn’t ask us to have the right words, the right requests, the right tone or the right posture. 
He doesn’t ask us to learn about prayer or to pray like a pastor.
He simply tells us to call on Him. He tells us to call on him so He can listen to us. Isn’t that amazing?!?!
You can go to him and He doesn’t judge your words or whether or not you included all of the prayer requests. He doesn’t care if you remembered all of the fundamentals. He sees your heart and hears it. He simply wants you to show up and talk to Him!

Knowing this simple truth, what exactly is there to be afraid of?

Jesus set an example in the Bible on a number of occasions. He didn’t stand in front of a crowd and wow them with His words in prayer. Instead, He often went off by himself, to a quiet place where He could just talk to God. Away from distraction, away from judgement, in a place where it was just Him and God.

So while I can’t make it easier when you are called on in group to pray (believe me, it’s still hard even after you’ve done it hundreds of times!) I can assure you of one thing. One reason that it’s awkward and uncomfortable is because when we are worried about whether we are praying right or whether or not we sound good praying in front of people, we aren’t praying with our heart. We aren’t praying for God. We are praying for those other people. But even that doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad thing….

Because while your public prayer may not feel sincere to what your heart is feeling in those awkward moments, please know that sometimes that uncomfortable prayer is ushering someone else in that room into a place of prayer that is sincere and DOES bring them to the feet of Jesus. 

 God can and does use those awkward moments to bring healing, comfort and closeness to someone else who needs it in that room in that moment! Have you ever been on the quiet end of one of those prayers? Where you actually forgot you were in a room full of people and felt like you were alone with God, and the words being prayed over you were your heart speaking to your Father? 

What if you talked yourself out of praying with someone who desperately needed it out of fear?

Let’s make a pledge today…let’s pledge to not allow our heads to get in front of our hearts in prayer. Let’s tear down all of our self imposed expectations on what prayer needs to be and remember just what it is: 

♥️ A divine and personal conversation between you and your Father God in Heaven ♥️

 

Let's talk about what holds us back from talking to God. In the comments below, share with us something that intimidates you about prayer...both public and private.

Would you like to journal your prayers so that you can look back at your conversations with God?

The thoughtfully designed prayer journal will guide you through 6 different aspects of prayer and serve as a visual diary of your time with God ❤︎

Bible Journaling Prompts

Apply what you’ve learned

♡ There are many places in the Bible where God reminds us of how He wants us to pray. This week, read and journal about the following verses:
  1.  1 Chronicles 16:11
  2. 2 Chronicles 7:14
  3.  Job 22:27
  4.  Psalm 17:6
  5. Psalm 102:17
  6.  Psalm 145:18
  7.  Philippians 4:6
 
♡Read the parable that Jesus told in Luke 18:9-15. How does this relate to how we pray, both in public and in private?
  

♡ Read the following passages and note in your journal some things that Jesus teaches us about how He prayed.]

  •  Matthew 14:23
  •  Mark 6:46
  •  Luke 6:12
  •  Mark 1:35
  •  Luke 5:16
  •  Matthew 26:36-45
♡ When Jesus was hanging on the cross, we get one of the most intimate and real examples of how He prayed. How do you feel reading these raw, unscripted prayers of our Lord? What does this tell you about what God expects when we pray?
  • Luke 23:32-34
  • Luke 23:46
  • Matthew 27:46
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3 Comments

  1. I always get nervous when I have to pray in front of other people but I have no problem praying for a friend over the phone or if they are right there with me. The nerves really hit when I pray for the offering if I am leading worship. What’s beautiful is when He places someone on my heart and I pray for them or let them know I have been praying for them or thinking of them.

    1. I’m actually the opposite! I’m ok praying in front of large groups, but praying for one or two people is super intimidating to me if I allow my brain to get ahead of my heart ♥️ Good thing God wired us all a little bit different, so when there is a need for any type of prayer there is someone who can and will do it! Thanks for sharing!

  2. I always worry I will sound childish.. Not in the sense that I’m asking for material things, or for someone else to act better because it’s ‘so affecting my serenity!’ More like, it will be obvious to people that I don’t know what I’m doing. Maybe I’ll be judged as an inexperienced pray-er. I’m so used to praying with my ten year old daughter, nd teaching her how to talk to God, that my own prayers don’t sound grown up. Thank Angie for letting me babble!

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