Praying Out Loud

Do you ever pray out loud? To God? Like in front of other people? I didn’t think so. Most people I know don’t and never have. Let’s face it, it’s just something people don’t do. It’s scary right? I mean, having a heart to heart with the Almighty Creator in front of other people? No way man. That’s too much like a speech. Everyone’s going to be judging your prayer and then they’re gonna talk about how lame it was behind your back. And what if you don’t follow the proper prayer protocol or you commit a horrific breach of prayer etiquette? Public prayer is messy business man. It’s not for me. Ask my friends, I’m the guy that NEVER, EVER prays in front of people.

Well tonight I was forced to pray. No my bible study group didn’t hold me down and force me to pray and our group leader didn’t put me on the spot or anything. No, it was all God’s fault. We’re doing a study on what it means to be an artist in the church and this week’s study was on insecurity. As I’m going through the chapter it just struck me that I have really no insecurity whatsoever about playing drums. It doesn’t matter what the crowd size is, or what music we’re playing, it’s all good. No butterflies, no worries. And really that just comes from playing in front of large crowds of people several times a week for over 20 years. After a while you get confident in your abilities and it becomes comfortable. And so as I started to wonder how this chapter applies to me it suddenly struck me that this whole public prayer thing is an area that I constantly agonize over. See God’s sneaky like that.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned it’s that when God gives you a challenge that scares the crap out of you, it’s really an opportunity to grow into something better. And so you either take Him up on it, or you kick yourself forever for being a wussy. So I sucked it up and prayed. Out loud. Now I’m not bragging here, I’ll be honest. I took the easiest prayer request. Short and sweet baby. But I gotta say I was as nervous as a long tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs. (Ok, I totally stole that saying from this website)

The good thing is, nobody chuckled at my lame attempt at prayer. Nobody said anything afterward. In fact, it was like nobody noticed that the no-prayer-guy prayed, even though I’m pretty sure my voice was a little wobbly, I might have prayed for something somebody else already prayed for, and I think I totally cut somebody else short in my nervousness. But it was all good.

The reason I’m even sharing this is because I think it’s important to share one’s fears and insecurities so we can laugh about them and move on. We all have our quirks. I have people tell me all the time how they can’t believe I can get up in front of 600 or so people in a church service and play like I do. And I’m thinking in my head… yeah, but I’m scared crapless of saying a simple prayer in front of four of my closest friends! Heck, I know a fully grown man who’s afraid of clowns! But the point is that no matter what we do, whether we’re playing the drums or praying or whatever… we should do it for God and God only. He doesn’t care if we aren’t the greatest drummer or the greatest public speaker. But He does care that we’re serving Him, pushing out of our comfort zone and most of all, growing in our faith.

I feel like I grew a tiny little bit today.