Friday, May 15, 2009


Lately I have been thinking about prayer. When I think of prayer, two things I immediately think are:
1) How I don't pray enough
2) How I don't like praying in groups because I feel my prayers are inadequate

Starting with number 1, this is obviously a big deal. I pray often, but I don't pray for long periods of time. I find myself not telling people I'll pray for them, because I don't want to lie (saying I'll pray when I'm pretty sure I'll neglect to do so). Not that there is anything good in not telling people I'll pray for them, but the people I do tell can be assured I AM praying for them. That doesn't bring comfort though. I know I need to pray for people more. My dedicated prayer times (meaning not the quick ones before a meal or before a test) are during my devotions, when I write my prayers out in a journal. I really love doing this, but I find myself slacking in praying during my devotional time. Any suggestions for developing a habit of regular dedication to sincere prayer?

The 2nd one is a major pride issue. When I pray in groups, it's nothing like how I pray when I'm by myself. I have the tendency to feel that people are judging my spirituality based on how godly my prayers sound. Then, I end up "messing up" my prayers, which leads to me thinking that now everyone in that group knows I must not be that spiritual because I can't even talk to God the way a true Christian should. I'll rehearse prayers in my head so I can be sure that it comes out the way I want it, but of course, I don't remember everything so I end up tripping over my words. It's pathetic that I feel talking to God is a performance. That's the only thing I can think of that would explain why I feel so comfortable talking to God when it's just me and Him. In a group I feel as if I'm on a stage talking to someone in front of a bunch of people. My "private conversation" with God is suddenly being heard by others and I think that makes me even more nervous. Am I the only one who struggles with this? Do you have any encouragement in overcoming this fear of man?


Leanne said...

Nope, you aren't alone in either one of these...and somehow I doubt that it's just the 2 of us, either. I don't have any fabulous advice for you because it's an area of weakness for me as well. I can tell you that the one person who has been a tremendous example for me in prayer is Carol Turek. Sometimes, when she is able to get up and join us for caregroup, she'll even pray aloud. Now THAT is a humbling experience, because it's a struggle for her to get any words out, and you can tell that she's just talking directly to God. Made me realize very quickly that sometimes a few heartfelt words mean more than many.

Michelle said...

You're definitely not the only one; this is a struggling point for me, as well. I've always heard that making it a habit, even if you don't "feel" moved to pray, is important to developing your prayer life further.

Allie said...

I totally agree with you.
in regards to point number 2.. I am the same way. I've been trying to pray out loud in groups more so maybe I'll just get used to it, but I still feel really really dumb when with a group of people. Like I don't know what I'm talking about and that I'm just a really bad Christian who doesn't know how to pray.. I think a way to help ourselves is to focus on God while we are praying instead of the other people. Close your eyes, tune everyone out, and just spill your heart.. take the leap and let yourself go. Rehearsing beforehand is always going to make it worse.
I pray the Lord changes our hearts and gives us grace to change our prayer life.
See you at Next?