Oh my goodness, prayer can be so overwhelming! I so understand the feeling of wanting to crawl under the table in fear of someone calling on me to pray in front of people!! For years I avoided eye contact, shifted in my seat, dug in my purse, flipped through my bible, anything and everything to avoid being called on to pray publicly. Everyone else who prayed sounded so beautiful. They used so many big church words and sounded not only like they knew what they were talking about but also felt what they were talking about. It was intimidating. I wasn’t like them at all.
Hear me now, here is a guide on how to saying those beautiful eloquent prayers. Say goodbye to the old seat shifting eye avoiding you!
First you are you and I am me. I’m a mess and I pray like a mess. God made us exactly as he wanted us. And he knows us.
Second, when we pray we are talking to our best friend. If you talk to your friends like “hey yo, what up wit ya” then that’s how you talk to God. He understands slang and vernacular. I mean, this is the God who made the languages at the Tower of Babel for goodness sake.
Third you give God the glory and adoration. You say something like “God. You are ruler of everything. I submit myself to you.”
Next you confess. “God, I’m sorry I stole the vase from my moms kitchen. Please forgive me.” Or it could be something like “God, I don’t even know where to start on my sins. You know those that are in my heart. Please reveal to me those that are not apparent in my daily walk.”
Fifth, thank God for all of the amazing things he has done. Especially prayers answered (even those that are answered with a No)!
Finally, pray for your needs and the needs of others.
Make yourself a cheat sheet with the steps above (not the words, those need to be your own!!) and tuck it in your bible. The next time you have the opportunity to pray publicly to God, the creator of the universe, you take it (maybe even volunteer) and you pray your heart out proudly!
Jeremiah 29:12 – Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.
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.
Psalm 17:6 – I call on you, my God, for you will answer me; turn your ear to me and hear my prayer.
Luke 11:2-4 – He said to them, “When you pray, say: “Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread, and forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation.”
Ephesians 1:18 – I pray that the eyes of your heart be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people.