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I’m still trying to bloom into public prayer (photo by SueBE)

I’m sure you’ve known someone like this – when they pray in public, they PRAY. They wax eloquent and they often have quite a bit to say.

Not that that’s a bad thing.

For some time, I’ve felt that I need to learn to pray in public, but prayer for me is very quiet and very personal. Praying out loud in front of other people is just about as comfortable as public nudity. Note: I am descended from Puritans; that should tell you all you need to know about the nudity issue.

What does this have to do with another person’s prayerful eloquence?

I am, in one word, intimidated. Even when I pray in private, my prayers are brief. I praise, I thank and I plead. And, in just about that many words, I am done. After I hear someone wax on, I find myself more reluctant than ever to pray in public. I simply cannot do it as well as she does.

I’m not envious – I feel sure of this because I don’t want to do it her way. The problem is that I’m judging myself. I see her way as good and right and anything that I might pull together is, in comparison, woefully inadequate.

Not that I believe that this is God’s judgement. He made me. He knows I’m short spoken. That isn’t what I feel called to change. What I need to change is my unwillingness to pray in public.

Step one? Convincing myself that my brief prayers are ok. But I think I’m on my way. This week, I’ve noted several brief prayers that other people have cast up:

They are all short and sweet and to the point. And they speak to me. Certainly if those who are so eloquent can offer up brief prayers, I can do the same.

Step two? Convincing myself that I can do it in front of others.



Have a Mary Little Christmas

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