I know to some people this topic might sound silly, but for those of us struggling with the please-don’t-pick-me’s the struggle is definitely real. I don’t think I would be too far off to say that anyone who comes into “church life” would disagree with this being something we worry about whenever it’s time to close anything out in prayer.
We worry we’re going to get picked to pray in front of the entire group and our prayer is not going to sound as well versed as the one who normally closes.
Maybe we’re out in the streets and meet someone that needs to be prayed over and we get nervous.
Maybe we’re at our youth group and are asked to pray, or we’re at a dinner and have to pray over the food (Thanksgiving is just around the corner).
Whatever the situation may be we get nervous our prayer isn’t going to sound “the best” and we end up doing our “best” praying at that moment just trying not to get picked to pray. Am I right?
Here’s the thing about prayer. It is LITERALLY just a conversation between you and God. Whether you pray out loud or in your head, it is just you coming to the Lord to talk.
I’ve thought about what makes a “good and bad” out loud prayer and this is what I’ve come up with. (Disclaimer: These are just my thoughts)
Why do we get nervous to pray out loud? Really, I think, the only reason is that we are nervous our prayer is going to sound dumb, too juvenile, too short, too weak to everyone listening. And THAT is what makes a BAD out loud prayer, worrying about what others think about your prayer.
I don’t know why but in this day and age we care tremendously about what other people think of us.
I know I do. I worry an unhealthy amount of times about what others think of me and not only when it comes to praying out loud but in social settings, in my work, in my parenting, in areas that others opinions should mean absolutely squat. This is something I am definitely praying for God to remove from my thought life and honestly I see the change.
Which brings me to my next point…
Prayer is such a powerful tool that we have in this world and I don’t think we realize this fully. Prayer is open communication with God, the creator of the world. Let that sink in.. The one who created everything with His words, the one who spoke life into existence. The one who knows your past and sees your future. The one who walks with you every single day. He is the one we are speaking to when we pray.
So when you pray out loud or even in your head, the only thing that should be on your mind is the conversation at hand. Think about it, when you speak to someone and are thinking of something else as you’re talking, your conversation is going to trail off and not make sense. You’re going to lose your train of thought or even worst, start rambling on about much of nothing.
A “good” prayer comes from a good friendship with God. If you spoke to someone you’re not close to, the conversation is going to feel very topical. It’s going to be a whole lot of fluff and fillers. But when you speak to your best friend you dive deep and quick, going straight for the real stuff. Same thing with prayer. The closer you get to Him privately, the more confident you’ll feel about doing it in front of other people.
Another thing I want to add though is how we tend to feel prayers SHOULD sound like.
Everyone is different and everyone develops a different kind of relationship with God. Some people use proper words and full scholar-like sentences. And some just let it come out as natural as speaking to a close friend because that’s just how they roll. Neither one is wrong, just different styles of relationships. There are no specific type of words that you need to say. There is no right order to praying. Just close your eyes, open your heart, and talk to God.
TIP: Practice praying out loud at home. Just so you can start getting used to hearing yourself pray out loud. Incorporate praying for others as well, that way you begin to develop more of a “We The People” mindset instead of only praying for yourself.
God is so beyond amazing and HE IS REAL. Too many times we come into this thinking He’s beyond our reach and we have to be a certain type of way before He can answer us or even listen to us. But I want to tell you that is NOT true. Gods love is definitely something hard for us to understand because we share such conditional love, but He doesn’t.
He sees our dirt, He sees where we struggle at as humans, He knows your weak points and all the things you’re ashamed to speak about but He loves you anyway!
He wants a relationship with us.
Think of a mother who brings a child into the world, loves them with a love beyond her realm of understanding. Raises that baby to have a good life (because isn’t that what we want for our offsprings) and then that same child goes off and loses themselves in drugs, sex, gangs, and really just completely stops talking to the mother because they have a “new life”.
That mom is constantly thinking about that child. Praying for her baby. Worrying if her kid is still alive. Waiting and wanting for her baby to just come back home.
Now think of God, who has exceedingly abundant love for us and has the ability to walk with us and watch over us. He always allows us to make our own choices but longs for the day when you’ll pick up the phone and just reach out to Him.
He is with you. He is ALWAYS with you. And on those days when you think He is not with you, open your heart and reach out for Him believing He is there for you.
I’m sorry, I’m not trying to preach but I just love Him so much and it hurts me to think that some people feel like God is beyond their reach when He’s sitting right there with you, looking at you with love in His eyes, waiting for you to just want Him too.