Pray with confidence. Some people know how to do it. I’ve listened in awe to prayers that lifted me into God’s presence. But I’ve never been a good public pray-er. I pray constantly. I just don’t pray eloquently. Public prayers should be eloquent, right?
I struggle to keep my focus on the Lord due to overwhelming fear of what people will think of my feeble attempts to reach God. I wonder if a single prayer I’ve offered in public ever rose above the ceiling.
I’ve never been afraid to “perform” in public, not since my first piano recital in second grade. When I reached fifth grade, my piano teacher asked me not only to play but also sing a solo for the piano recital. (Where’d she get the idea I could sing?) Soon the principal of our school asked me to sing for the students during lunch.
During my teenage years I became involved in church music, singing in the choir and playing the piano for Sunday School assembly. After marrying into a new church, I became part of a ladies’ trio, sang in the choir—directing the group on occasion—and played the piano and organ when needed. I never experienced “cold feet,” although playing the organ caused clammy hands.
My outgoing personality made public speaking a breeze. From book reports in high school and college to “happy little talks” I presented to church groups and civic clubs during my newspaper career, I rarely felt intimidated. But praying in public always triggered stage fright.
My personal praying wasn’t much better. Most often it was desperate. Lord, help me! Lord, work this out! Oh, God, if You don’t do it, there’s no hope!
I longed for a prayer life that honored God.
What would a prayer life that honored God look like?
I’d talk with him when I wasn’t in a panic. I’d praise him in all circumstances. I’d express my confident trust. I’d communicate my love and devotion.
Somewhere I heard a suggestion about praying Scripture because God loves to hear his Word prayed back to him. It’s stated beautifully and covers every need. Scripture praying transformed my prayer life.Somewhere I heard a suggestion about praying Scripture because God loves to hear his Word prayed back to him. It’s stated beautifully and covers every need. Scripture praying transformed my prayer life. Click To Tweet
Renowned pastor Ron Dunn said, “Prayer is the secret weapon of the kingdom of God. It is like a missile that can be fired toward any spot on earth, travel undetected at the speed of thought, and hit its target every time…Whatever is a concern in the heart of man is a concern in the heart of God. Remember: If it’s big enough to worry about, it’s big enough to pray about” (Don’t Just Stand There, Pray Something).
Some people say they don’t like bothering God with “little things.” Think about that. To God, isn’t everything little?
The Bible is filled with wonderful promises concerning prayer. “…Men ought always to pray, and not to faint” (Luke 18:1).
“Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not” (Jer. 33:3).
“And whatsoever ye shall ask in My name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son” (John 14:13).
“And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us; And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him” (1 John 5:14-15).
Perhaps we feel anxious approaching God because we’re so aware of our unworthiness before his holiness. Listen to Jeremiah 31:3. “…Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.” Why should I fear talking with a Friend who feels that way about me?
Public—and private—prayer needn’t be eloquent, only heartfelt.
How do we pray with confidence? We talk with Jesus—our best friend—disclosing secrets of the heart, knowing he hears. We depend on him—our only hope—to respond in lavish love, according to his will.How do we pray with confidence? We talk with Jesus—our best friend—disclosing secrets of the heart, knowing he hears. We depend on him—our only hope—to respond in lavish love, according to his will. Click To Tweet
Lord, I cast myself, all that I am and have, utterly on you. You’re my all in all. I believe you have accepted my consecration. I’m a mess, and I shall ever be—unless you show yourself strong on my behalf. Teach me to live by faith, believing your divine life is flowing through me, keeping me, serving through me, glorifying yourself through me.
Has the Lord brought you through a circumstance that taught you to pray with confidence? Please leave a comment. And share this post with a friend.
*Scripture references from King James Version unless noted.
© Dianne Barker 2018 (reprinted)