Do You Ever Do This When You Pray?

by Michelle Acker on November 8, 2012

in Learning the Art of Living,Mind

I have to admit, I’m not the greatest when it comes to prayer.

Well, when it comes to public, say-it-out-loud prayer anyway. I do just fine when it’s just me and God. But when I have to pray out loud in front of people? I get all jumbled up, nervous, and trip over my own tongue. That, and I get distracted by the sound of my own voice.  It’s not pretty.

It’s something I’d like to improve about myself.  

Not because I want people to think I’m awesome at public prayer, but simply because sometimes I have some good thoughts lined up in my head, and I’d like to be able to get them out in a clear, concise way to bless a friend to might need to hear them in that moment.

I want to be better because it’s something that holds me back from praying for/with a friend when they might need it.  

And I’m not okay with that.  And as I’ve been trying to figure out the HOW of that, an idea keeps popping up. In books, conversations, and even my own thoughts, the idea to write out my prayers.  In enough unrelated places to get my attention, write out your prayers has come up this week. Maybe that’s the HOW I’ve been looking for?

Do any of you write out your prayers in some way or other?  

Maybe journal your prayers?

I’m going to give it a shot.  Maybe it will help me learn to un-jumble my thoughts so I can better pray when I have a friend in need.

Something to think about…

 



{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

Sharon November 8, 2012 at 7:20 AM

I have written out my prayers, but not a whole lot. This is a good reminder; however, because it changes things up a bit. Maybe it will allow me to express myself differently since I enjoy writing.

Michelle November 8, 2012 at 5:09 PM

That’s what I’m hoping too Sharon!

jean wise November 8, 2012 at 7:26 AM

I journal my prayers all the time. Not only does it record them and it is reassuring to reread at a later date but it gives me clarity and insight too. Sometime I will rewrite a common prayer in my own words too. Good post today. made me think

Michelle November 8, 2012 at 5:10 PM

I love this idea of rewriting a common prayer also. Thank you taking the time to comment and for the great idea!

Joan November 8, 2012 at 7:33 AM

That is exactly how I have felt for years…It has only been recently when my “out loud prayers” have been smoother. I think a lot has to do with staying relaxed and keeping it “conversational”, but it also has to do with praying for God to remove my fear! =) Also, I have gotten into the habit (a good habit) of praying God’s word. I find a scripture verse that speaks to me, write it down, and then write down my prayer regarding it. In other words, I pray what the scripture says. When I have added that to my “out loud prayers” as I start to pray, it has helped tremendously!! I so loved this that I do it on my blog each Wednesday. Also, like Jean above, when I have gone back and read these prayers at a later time, I am so encouraged to then know God’s answer!

In Him, Joan

Michelle November 8, 2012 at 5:13 PM

It’s interesting that you say “keep it conversational”. One of the discussions I had this week was how we don’t have any trouble sharing 5 minute long prayer requests, but when it comes time to “do” the praying, we all clam up. The prayer requesting really IS part of the corporate prayer time… Totally new idea for me.
I love praying what the scripture says too. Thank you for the great ideas!

Sylvia Phillips November 8, 2012 at 7:44 AM

I have always been self conscious about praying out loud in public, but even though it’s hard I have learned that for me it’s better to pray with people, immediately on the spot or I will forget and then I feel more uncomfortable than I do praying in public! Thanks for sharing this message!

Michelle November 8, 2012 at 5:14 PM

Ah… the pray immediately or I will forget thing. I’ve been guilty of that too. Especially when someone asks for prayer online. I’ve had to make a new habit to drop everything and say the prayer right then and there or else I absolutely forget to do it. So glad I’m not alone!

EvieJo November 8, 2012 at 8:28 AM

That’s a very good idea. Although, I have never had any doubt that God answers my prayers and have many testimonies to prove it, at age 54, I still get self-conscious when praying out loud in a group. I have also been thinking about it this week. This a very good suggestion!

Just want to thank you for the link up, also.

Blessings to you, EvieJo

Michelle November 8, 2012 at 5:15 PM

Glad to have you here for the link up EvieJo! Isn’t it nice to know that we’re not alone in being uncomfortable praying in a group? We can conquer our fears together, knowing that we all feel the same!

Meredith November 8, 2012 at 9:09 AM

There was a time when that was exclusively what I did, except for corporate prayer. I feel that journaling my prayers helps me to stay focused, because I my mind is definitely “prone to wander.” 🙂

Michelle November 8, 2012 at 5:16 PM

I have to admit the only written prayer I’ve done is part of S.O.A.P. And I absolutely LOVE it. I have no idea why it hadn’t really occurred to me before now to journal my prayers. I have the “prone to wander” mind too, as you well know! 🙂

Cherry November 8, 2012 at 11:01 AM

Oh, such good thoughts! And probably something that many, many of us struggle with at times. And yes, I have been writing out my prayers for many years (in my journal) – maybe not word-for-word, but sometimes just abbreviated thoughts. It seems that I can focus more, and be more intentional in my prayers when I write them out. It’s my preferred way of communicating. It helps, then, to be freer with praying in public (because of the intimacy with God through my journaling) – but it still is more difficult to pray in public than in private. I am continually asking God to take me deeper in prayer, as well – and linked up one of my posts in a series I am doing on prayer. (#32 on your linkup) Really appreciated reading your post here … thanks!

Michelle November 8, 2012 at 5:18 PM

“because of the intimacy with God through my journaling”….. oh, that makes my soul want to grab paper and pen and start this instant!! Thank you for the beautifully worded motivation. I’m off to read your post right now. Thanks so much for the lovely comment!

Laurie Collett November 8, 2012 at 2:21 PM

May the Holy Spirit always guide our prayers, & praise God that he intercedes for us even when we don’t know what to say! Thanks for the great post & for hosting, & God bless!

Michelle November 8, 2012 at 5:20 PM

“& praise God that he intercedes for us even when we don’t know what to say”…. AMEN! I need to remember that. Maybe we should start all our group prayers like that to put people at ease!

Thanks for always stopping by and taking part in Thought Provoking Thursday! God Bless!

Pam November 8, 2012 at 4:36 PM

I have prayed most of my life for someone who just passed away recently… but about 13 years ago I began to write down my prayers for this person in journals. As I did, my prayers took deeper shape, and God spoke into me pictures of what I believe He was doing through my prayers. Specific words to my heart that I don’t think I’d ever have heard as clearly if I hadn’t been writing it all down in my intercessory prayer times. Specific scriptures to confirm what I believed he was showing me (as I asked Him to lead me to them). They were also great because whenever I was just too exhausted to pray, I’d take out those books and pray from the written prayers again and again… Written from my heart with no inhibitions or proper sounding words or pretentiousness that formally written prayers might have. Now that he has died, these are even more precious – for I want to go through them again, see what God spoke in and through me that I may have forgotten. I think God will use them as one more confirmation to me that He really did move in this person and bring him to Himself… So yes, I would greatly, greatly encourage you – write out your prayers! 🙂 I was also able to write and share more with this person from what I’d written down – words I believe God greatly anointed because they did come out of prayer…. And I also saw God open doors that I’d never have imagined, and I think that came out of all those prayers too…

Michelle November 8, 2012 at 5:22 PM

Oh, this is so beautiful. Lovely idea, and so motivating. What a treasure to be able to go back and remember through your journal of prayers, and what a gift to be able to see God’s work through them. My sympathies on your recent loss. May God comfort you with more and more grace and peace.

Pam November 8, 2012 at 6:10 PM

Thanks, Michelle.

Pam November 8, 2012 at 4:39 PM

One more thing I just thought of too… I do pray out loud in public situations, but I always feel like I can’t think as fast on my feet. I think that is the writer in us, don’t you think? It’s always been easier to think as I write… and another reason writing my prayers really made them so much richer than just praying without writing…

Michelle November 8, 2012 at 5:23 PM

Ah… I had the same thought. I DO think it’s partly the writer in us! And I’m hoping the writer in me will bring the prayers to more vibrant life as well! Thank you for taking the time to share your encouraging and inspiring comments! I’m so glad you did.

Barbie November 8, 2012 at 5:14 PM

When we first started our house of prayer, I used to write my prayers out before coming to the mic. I was so afraid of saying something dumb in the mic. Now, I take my time praying and don’t need to write things down, other than bullet points from time to time to keep me focused.

Michelle November 8, 2012 at 5:25 PM

What lovely inspiration to see how it’s helped you become more comfortable! I’ve had the thought of asking everyone in my small group to pray, but giving them time to write it down first to make it easier. Now I think we should definitely try it!

I’d love to know more about your house of prayer! Sounds lovely!

Dawn November 9, 2012 at 8:42 AM

Yes, I journal my prayers… it helps. ANd I also struggle with praying with others because my mind is really noisy at times (adhd for real) but I still lead a Moms In Prayer group by the grace of God- so yes, writing helps but also being still and listening and knowing that many words are not needed. The Holy Spirit guides us and reject anything that sounds like criticism when you pray – I think writing sometimes helps me focus BUT I have learned to pray as I go so this allows freedom from my pen also! I still have a hard time hearing God when in a group but it has gotten easier. HOpe my rambling answer offers encouragment in some way!

Vilisi November 13, 2012 at 10:24 PM

I’ve taken to writing down my prayers because my mind is so easily distracted. It helps me to stay focused. I type out my prayers on my keyboard as I’m praying either out loud or in my heart. I often go back to these prayers and pray them again, for example the prayers that God puts on my heart for my city and church. I keep a separate prayer prayer journal for each member of my family – it helps to keep track of the progress. It’s easy to weave in relevant scriptures as well when I type as I pray.

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