Fear of Prayer

When I first became a Christian in 1999 I was very envious of those around me who could pray out loud really well.  Their words were eloquent and seemed to flow together perfectly.  I found praying out loud intimidating and was very fearful of every having to do it. Our small group was filled with people who were just as terrified as I was of praying out loud. So, we had devised a thumbs up system and the last one to put their thumbs up at the end of the group had to close in prayer. I was always very conscientious of the time and would have my thumbs in the up position hiding in my lap for at least the last five minutes. Until one fateful night when I was so engaged in the discussion that I forgot and I was the last to get my thumbs up.

Everyone looked at me and I felt absolute terror; panic set in.  The group dutifully closed their eyes and bowed their heads awaiting my closing prayer. The only two words that came to mind were, “yay, God” so that’s what I said. I opened my eyes and looked up.  Unfortunately, I was the only one who knew the prayer was over because everyone else still had their eyes closed and their heads bowed. I told them, “that’s it, that’s all I’ve got”. It was a humiliating experience.

Thankfully my prayer life is much better personally and out loud in a group.  I share that story to encourage you to pray – even out loud.  If I can do it, believe me, anyone can. What I learned over time as I came to know the Lord more intimately is that prayer is simply a conversation with God. It does’t have to be eloquent and full of fancy words.

Matthew 6:7

And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words.

God simply wants us to talk to Him and share with Him what is going on in our lives and what is on our hearts and to be quiet so He can talk to us in return.

Here are some easy tips for becoming more comfortable with praying. First of all, don’t just read about it and talk about it – DO IT! Find ways to incorporate it into your everyday life. When you are in your car, turn off the radio and talk out loud to God. Don’t worry, the person in the car next to you will just think you are singing along to the radio. Praying out loud can help you keep your focus and not become distracted by other thoughts running around in your mind. It gives you a chance to tell God what has happened in your day and to get His input.

You can also pray while you are doing everyday chores. I sort each person’s laundry into piles and pray for each member of my family as I fold their clothes. You can do the same as you pack lunches, make meals or set their place at the table. Each of these provide you with an opportunity to lift your family members in prayer.

As you pray more throughout your day, praying will become more comfortable and your relationship with God will be closer. Just like all the other important relationships in our lives, communication is the key. Keep in mind that communication is a two way street where you do some of the talking but also take time to listen. God is waiting to hear from you today, what are you waiting for?

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7 thoughts on “Fear of Prayer

  1. Hi Shelly, thanks so much for leaving a comment on Versicals Devotions. I had a look at your website and am mightily impressed with your experiences with prayer. It seemed to me that people would try to outdo each other with the length and content of their entreaties and like you, I felt that I had to say something. Anyway, well done and I will keep looking for more great posts. God Bless, Mike.

    • Mike, thanks for the kind words. Prayer is something that takes a while to be comfortable with but once we realize we are just talking to Our Heavenly Father, we don’t care about how we sound to others as much.

  2. Lynn

    Shelly, Praying out loud scared me to death. I always thought that those listen would think less of me…. As my sweet husband says ” I can talk to wall and I don’t suffer in silence.” God and I talk all the time… so I finally asked God to help me with this. He just reminded me that PRAYER is just talking to him. He is my God!!! and he loves to hear from me. What an Awesome God we have!!!! So as you said Shelly “Yay GOD!!!!!!!” and Thanks for Blogging. I love it… 🙂

    • Lynn,thanks for sharing your thoughts on prayer. It really is just talking to God the way we do our friends and family. Luckily, our Heavenly Father already knows what’s going on in our lives; He just wants us to be willing to talk to Him about it.

  3. Hi Shelly, great post! I remember meeting with my bishop before my licensing, and he prayed very eloquently for me at the end of our meeting. He then left some silence, and I felt I had to say something. All I could say was “yay”! I was so happy! I did not really had the words! That made him smile and he was really happy too actually, because it came from the heart. Bare souls before God: a really good thing I think! :o)

    • Marie, thanks so much for sharing! How funny that we had the same prayer. I agree that God just wants us to be ourselves and share what is on our hearts. Blessings!

  4. Reblogged this on ✞ iChristian and commented:
    Check out this Fantastic post on Prayer!

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