“Will you lead us in prayer?” The question is often met with a surge of anxiety, fear, and a desire to disappear instantaneously.
Experts say that public speaking is one of the most common fears among people. I’d say that praying in public might go just above it, sliding somewhere between acrophobia (fear of heights) and claustrophobia (fear of closed spaces)
In my 20+ years of ministry, I have never quite figured out the rhyme and reason behind all the places people’s eyes will go to when asked to pray. It’s as if the answer of how to get out of this query is disconcertedly woven into the fabric of the floor or ceiling, and only if the individual stares hard enough will they discover what they need to survive.
Why are we scared to pray in front of others? Is praying publicly a microcosm of our feeling towards praying privately? If so, why are we scared of prayer?
At first glance, communicating with the God of the Universe can be overwhelmingly intimidating. When compounded with the many experiences of our life—joy and sorrow, celebration and loss, fear and hope, disappointment and success—talking to God can feel a bit frustratingly unapproachable.
But why would God create our capacity for prayer if it was unapproachable, unattainable, or impossible?
What if our fear, apprehensions, anxiety, and lack of understanding prayer prevent us from opening our lives up to the greater possibilities God has in store for us?
On June 6th, we are starting a new sermon series, “Audacious: Radical Prayers That Will Transform Your Life.” Each week we will examine a different type of prayer and why it is critical for thriving. In turn, we are challenged to put that prayer into practice each day to develop a fiercer and deeper journey with God.