If you think public speaking terrifies a lot of people try asking the majority how they feel about public praying. It scares so many. I was once that person. I grew up in a traditional Baptist church in a small town in Northern Louisiana. We had deacons who would pray with such etiquette until you just knew that their lives were perfect and the way that they prayed was only a result of their perfect lives. Because I knew I wasn't perfect I didn't think I had the privilege of praying like that. This is the same reason that I think so many are afraid to pray, especially publicly. They are comparing the way they've heard a church leader (or a person who they hold in high regards) pray and they feel as if they just don't measure up. I let out a big sign when I realized that God longs to hear from every one of His children. He does not want us to shy away from prayer. He is not concerned with the words we use, how fluently we speak, or even our subject-verb pronunciation. All He wants is for His sons and daughters to come boldly to His throne of grace and pour out our hearts to Him. I'm glad that I was able to build my confidence when it comes to public praying and I want to share 5 tips with you to help build yours. This does not mean that every prayer that you will say from this point on will be public. As a writer, I am a fan of written prayers and private time with God however you never know when you may be called on to pray in public so you need to feel confident about doing it.
Simple prayers are effective prayers. As long as you are praying from the heart you should feel confident that God hears you because He does.
God does not judge our prayers by church lingo or churchy words. You should feel confident that God judges only the condition of your heart and not the cliche' that tradition or religion may have taught you to say in church.
Your prayers don't have to be long to be fervent. Fervent means intense, heartfelt. Fervent does not mean long.
Be yourself when praying. Take the pressure off of yourself and understand that you don't have to pray what you've heard someone else praying or even the way you've heard them praying. God says you are fearfully and wonderfully made and that means you are unique. Be who YOU are in prayer and say what YOU want to say, not what you recall hearing someone else pray.
Allow the Holy Spirit to have control. He makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered so allow Him to have full control. When you are led by Him then you are confident that your prayers are fervent and effective. This allows you to pray with confidence and wait on your manifestation....in confidence.
Praying out loud isn't so hard but it does take a level of comfort. Start by praying aloud when you are alone and gradually move into volunteering to pray aloud when others are around. Look up scriptures on prayer and you will soon be praying with confidence....Publicly!
Pamela D. Smith