{Praying in a group

Say hello…Hi my name is Gary

Where are you from?I am from Ladysmith, BC Canada

What led you to join Connect? I heard Ravi talk on Podcasts

How do you hope to contribute?By learning to pray out loud in a group as I am kind of shy.

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Hi, Gary :slight_smile: . Welcome to our wonderful community. I see you’re interested in group prayer. That’s great! There is a prayer group on Connect you may want to discover. I know I’ve seen @Tim_Ramey encouraging group prayer.

I can understand that praying out loud in a group can be a challenge. It’s tough to get past the knowledge that others are hearing your prayer and that it’s not a private conversation between you and God.

I’m wondering—do you pray out loud in private? Maybe getting used to the sound of your voice at group prayer volume even when by yourself would help. My pastor tells of how when he first accepted God’s call to preach he went out in the woods to study, pray, and practice. He didn’t have an education in ministry and was just a country boy trying to follow God. He wore a path around a beech tree preaching to the squirrels and the great outdoors before he ever preached in a church. Seems like he said he preached in the woods for six months. Public speaking of any sort, even prayer, can be intimidating; but, brother, you rise above intimidation in the name of Jesus!

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Hi Gary! Welcome to Connect :grinning:. I’m sure you’ll find lots of encouraging material here. Praying out loud can be an uncomfortable thing for many people. It’s an intimate thing between you and God and it can feel strange to have to share that with others. However, the Bible encourages us to pray on our own and with others, and often scripture demonstrates prayer done out loud.

The article below might give you some ideas on how to start your times praying out loud on your own, as Leah suggested. It helpfully highlights how the Psalms model a lot of praying out loud as shown by certain phrases like

I cry out to you.
Hear the sound of my voice.
With my song I give thanks.
Shout for joy.
Incline your ear to me, and hear my words.
My tongue will sing aloud.

This article might also give you some scriptural inspiration and encouragement as you seek God in building confidence in praying out loud.

Praying with a bigger group could understandably be intimidating. Have you a friend whom you could pray one to one with, perhaps over video call if not in person? If there is, you could share this fear and work up to practising praying with them.

I’ve been in your shoes, and it took trust in God and practice to feel comfortable praying out loud with others. I think for me personally, the most significant thing in becoming more confident in group prayer was simply working on my personal relationship with God. When I quietly studied the word and prayed on my own over time, I was naturally more able to express my heart out loud with others.

Blessings,
Alison

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Hello Gary, I really appreciate your desire to pray out lout in a group. I was painfully shy all my life and God has spent years working on me as I struggled to overcome my fears. And how I hated hearing my own voice in a group of three or more! I would agree with @alicia.felce that I got a boost in confidence when my faith became stronger and I felt closer to the Lord. I pray that you will have victory in this area of your life and enjoy the freedom of casting off your fears. Our God can help us with anything! :smile:

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Hi Leah and all those who responded to me. I guess I have been a bit of dishonest about WHY I can’t seem to pray out loud in a group setting. It’s not so much that I am shy, but have never been comfortable public speaking. The really honest reason is that I feel inept because I don’t seem to be able to find the correct words to pray. I am not trying to impress anyone, I just can’t seem to pick out the right words that I think will make sense to the others listening. When I hear others praying, their words of praise to God seem genuine and honest and unabashed, and flow so easily, but my own words are simple, sometimes a jumbled up group of thoughts that come from my mind that are meant to be private between God and I. I love my silent talks with God where I can truly be honest and I know he is listening to me. It feels very personal and intimate and I can truly reveal my thoughts to Him. In a group setting, I cannot seem to do that. For example at our church there is often prayer requests where someone is asking others to pray for their personal requests. I don’t feel I can properly choose the right words that will give them comfort in what I am saying and therefore feel like I am letting them down with a simple few jumbled thoughts that are coming out of my mouth. I just feel inept and want to crawl away in my own little hole with from embarrassment. Does that sound kind of ridiculous to you? I just lack the eloquence, much like Moses I guess when he was told by God to go to the Pharaoh and he complained to God that he was not up to the task. Therefore Aaron was chosen to talk on his behalf. I just kind of feel that way and wait for someone else to step up and pray for that specific prayer request. I know that this seems selfish but how do I get past these feelings of inadequacy? This is troubling me so much that I tend to just stay in the background at church and be a listener instead of someone who is engaging. And of course it makes me feel very non-christian like. That in a nutshell is what my problem is. Can you help me get past this. I have asked God this but don’t seem to be getting any answers. Or am I just not hearing him?

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I just feel inept and want to crawl away in my own little hole with from embarrassment. Does that sound kind of ridiculous to you?

Not ridiculous at all! And you’re definitely not the only one to feel like this. In fact I’m taking someone through this prayer course at the moment. If you fancy taking a look, it might help remind you what your prayer life is really about, plus inspire you with some words you can use and ways to approach God in your prayers. If you try and get some of this practised in your private prayers, I’m sure you’ll grow in your group prayer life.

https://prayercourse.org/

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Hello Gary, welcome my friend from your southern neighbor in the mountains of WV USA.
How did you specifically find out about the Connect forum, and what urged you to jump on board? It is great to meet you and share His truth and grow in grace together. Thank you as well for the articulate responce to others questions, makes me want to hear you share your testimony. Be blessed and encouraged at this time we all are dealing with. Looking forward to your further input
Mike

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Hi Gary :slightly_smiling_face:

Welcome to Connect and thank you for your question. You have already got some great responses and so I thought I would share a personal story with you that might help. I can remember years ago praying in a small group- about 5 people- some people I knew and others I didn’t know so well. The thing I always remember about that prayer meeting was a friend of mine, who was there, who was not what the world would consider the best at praying- his words were jumbled and his train of thought was not always in sequence- but the thing was, unlike myself, he was actually speaking to God from the heart. He wasn’t praying to try and impress anybody else, nor was he embarrassed by his prayer.

I realized after that meeting that so many times we pray out of emulating other people, or trying to sound persuasive and authoritative in our words, or even just repeating prayer structure from previous times of prayer. My friend was probably the only one in that meeting who truly was speaking to God as himself, and that was a humbling and eye opening experience for me.

So I hope that may help in someway Gary but keep trusting in God and asking for help in the areas you feel weak and would like God to help carry the burden you feel.

God bless

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I would love to give my testimony one day Mike. It might be long winded and detailed however, as it is a quite complex story on the steps that led me to how I was born again at the age of 60 after a 50 year absence from God through indifference after my Catholic upbringing as a child. All I can say is now, I have more joy now in my life, living daily with God on my mind day and night and not fearing death so much nowadays. I have a lot to learn yet, as reading my bible everyday brings more and more insight every time I read chapters that I have read numerous times before. It’s a never ending journey of my new walk with God. Thank you for your encouragement.

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Hi Brian, I know what you are saying is true. That is exactly what I should be doing. Speaking just what I feel is on my heart and know that God understands my motives and intentions and not worry at all about what others might think. If they are Christians themselves, they will not judge me for my heartfelt intention nor would I of others’s prayers. You have given me a clear path to venture on which I will definitely try at our next Zoom meeting, short and simple to start off with my church group. I will let you know how it goes. I will also pray for the Holy spirit to guide me through this and hope that my confidence level increases as i gain experience through this. Thank you so much for your wisdom.

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I’m not sure I can add much to what has already been shared. This topic and the responses to you help me, too. Thank you for being open about your challenge.

For the past few weeks I’ve been hearing sermons on courage and listening to some studies on prayer, both of which may aid you in overcoming fear and inferiority (I don’t think I realized until just now that inferiority sounds like in-fear). The sermons and studies are at cfcky.com (Community Family Church in KY) in the media section. The (Sunday) sermons during April have been on courage. The Monday and Tuesday call to prayer study sessions have been on learning about prayer using the tabernacle as a tool for learning. Pretty neat and very lively. The link is https://www.cfcky.com/stream/ . The one from 4/19/20 AM is about courage to speak the name of Jesus, and the one on 4/5/20 AM is on courage to enter the throne of grace. This 4/5 one mentions getting over top of intimidation and inferiority. The link may take you to a list of videos rather than to a specific one.

I hope something here helps. Maybe you can share later on what helped you once you find it’s gotten easier so others can learn from your victory. I fully expect this is going to get easier for you :slight_smile: .

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Gary, the way you described your feelings about how you pray exactly reminds me of myself. I too felt the same way. I grew up in a church that believed the Spirit only came down as a helper to the first century Christians, therefore there was never any spirit filled prayer. We just prayed certain things out of duty and they often sounded the same from person to person. In our prayers we’d have a list of requests and thankfulnesses, but nothing like the heartfelt prayers I have heard since leaving that denomination and meeting with brethren that allowed the Spirit to guide them. When I would hear these people pray, I wondered how they could find the words that just seemed to flow from their lips. I once found myself in a group of four ladies and we were to pray for each other, and my prayer seemed so awkward and lacking in imagination. I had no idea what to say! I could speak to my Lord when I was alone, but how to pray in front of others was beyond me. I felt like I should be saying things that would edify them as well but I didn’t know how to do that, so I always avoided praying with others. It still isn’t my favorite thing, and I still feel like sometimes my words come out less fluently than I’d like, but I have found over the years that as I learn more about God’s love and who He is, my love for Him has grown considerably and I have found it easier to pray from the heart, to allow the Spirit to help me. Instead of praying because I should, in a group of people, I wait until I feel the urge to pray for something and then it’s really heartfelt. @Brian_Upsher had an excellent illustration on how praying from the heart is all that matters, not eloquence or wordiness. Perhaps if you practice praying out loud when you are alone you can feel more confident in public. Some people often just find it difficult to express themselves verbally. I personally do better with the written word as my mind does not work quickly. But if you allow the Spirit to guide you in prayer, you will edify others, because the Spirit is helping you.

God bless you Gary as you strive to overcome this awkwardness and hope to bless others with audible prayer! :blush:

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Thanks Carrie. It’s relieving to know that I am not alone in this. I will give it my best shot. Thanks for the encouragement.

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Hello Gary, thank you for further sharing your thoughts with me. May I comment on this? [quote=“Gar, post:9, topic:31444”]
I was born again at the age of 60 after a 50 year absence from God through indifference after my Catholic upbringing as a child.
[/quote]
Congratulations my friend.
INDIFFERENCE was a great way to put that period of your life, and reading this gives me further reasons to why I rebelled for the next 26 years. We each here share one thing in common, our search for truth. All of our unique life experiences break us and/or shape us.
The negative things that took place without giving great detail made me an introvert which I know today is not who God made me to be.

Gods plan for my life was determined before the womb.

For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well. My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
Psalms 139:13‭-‬15 NKJV

To qualify, my wife of 40 years uses the word self absorbed to characterize that time, before surrendering my heart to Jesus, and after, becoming a polar opposite.

I used to grapple with how did this happen?
But know i know its who God made me to be, no longer inhibited as i had been. His word, His Spirit transformed me over time.

There are many here who have shared who just like me struggled with this or that but as this word shows it is a process most of the time.

However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.
John 16:13 NKJV

From your 65 year young brother in the Lord. So glad God brought you to Connect.
Mike

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