Praying Out Loud – Overcoming the Fear

Praying Out Loud – Overcoming the Fear

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You’re in a meeting or at a dinner and someone asks the question “Would someone like to lead us in Prayer?” What do you do? Do you tuck your head and pray to God, “God please do not let them volunteer me.” I did this for years. There was no way I was going to prayer in front of a group. I was so afraid of how I would sound. I mean I wasn’t as poetic as Maya Angelo and if I did muster up the courage to do it, my prayer wasn’t going to be long by any means.

Then it one day it happens. I’m asked to bless the food at a conference. As someone in a leadership position I realized that I would have to overcome this fear. Because I would have the time to prepare I felt comfortable with my decision to accept. After thinking about it for weeks, I decided to just say the same prayer I say over my own food. So what if it is short, I’ve read the gospels and Jesus wasn’t long winded at all!

The time comes for me to bless the meal. As I walk to the podium staring at what seemed like a thousand but really was only a couple of hundred people I ask God, “Please don’t let me sound crazy” (you know like Ben Stiller in Meet the Parents or Ricky Bobby in Talladega Nights). I get to the podium and after asking everyone to bow their heads I say “God, thank you for the meal we have today, bless those that have prepared it, and please bless those without, in Jesus name, A-men.” The audience let off a humongous AMEN, as if they were relieved that my prayer was short and to the point. During the meal a few people thanked me for getting to the point. At that point the fear had been removed. I would never be afraid to volunteer for prayer.

I learned some valuable lessons about speaking prayers out loud since overcoming my fears.  I’ve listed them below

  • Short prayers do not equal less affective prayers.  I believe we often get caught up in the length of prayers by those we see in the pulpit.

  • It is important to have your own voice.   Go to God the same way you do when you are alone.  There is no need to sound like others.

  • If you know in advance you have to pray there is nothing wrong with writing your prayer out.  Who says you can’t have a cheat sheet.

  • Last but not least, ask God to remove the fear.  You never know when someone is in the need of prayer and they just may be to down to call out to God themselves.  Hearing another (YOUR) voice has the power to uplift their spirit.