Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:9
I think that all of us have been called to pray at church Ė or at least heard the words Ė will someone pray for these needs. Why is it that a pin could be heard hitting the floor while the congregation hopes that someone else will volunteer to pray instead of you? I have found myself in that position several times and it leaves me feeling that something important is wrong with me. I have given it some thought and have come to a conclusion that I lack practice praying out loud.
Have you considered that you are in a spiritual war with Satan and he has intimidated you to believe that someone may find out how unspiritual you are? Have you noticed that when you are asked to pray your mind goes blank or you feel some sort of danger because you are praying? Iíve discussed this matter with others and find that feeling is common among fellow Christians. You may not understand why you feel that way but know this itís not you and the feeling is not justifiable or legitimate.
You understand the anger of being shouted at and being told how stupid you are does to you because all of us have faced that experience at least once in our lifetime. The outcome of all that angry shouting puts your self-esteem in the gutter. You did not like that feeling and you wanted to resist ever having that feeling again.
Prayer is not something to dread, be afraid of, feel threatened by, be coerced into, or terrorized by. A former pastor once said, prayer is simply talking to your heavenly father. I can pray up a storm when I am in my prayer closet but out in public where I can be heard by everyone I am reluctant because of the feelings of impending danger. That feeling is like when you are looking out a window and see a hundred feet between you and the ground. Itís also like a soldier on the front line when he is being shot at seeks cover but a soldier of Godís army directs God through prayer where to concentrate his efforts.
God has given us a command to be strong and courageous, not to be discouraged or terrified, because the LORD your God has promised be with you? Itís not easy to remember this command when Satan is suddenly overwhelming you with fear and your human instincts give you the desire to hunker down and become scarce?
Letís consider how God talks to you, doesnít he impress his thought into your spirit? God said I will put my spirit in you to move you to obey my laws Ezekiel 36:27? God stirred the hearts of the Egyptians; he hardened the heart of Pharaoh and then moved the hearts of those who gave their possessions for making the tabernacle.
Satan incited David to take a census of Israel 1 Chronicles 21:1 and Saul was given an evil spirit to torment him. Paul was given a thorn in his flesh 2 Corinthians 12:7, God moved Nebuchadnezzar to destroy Jerusalem and then moved Cyrus to rebuild Jerusalem and restore the temple. Thomas was infected with a spirit of doubt. Whatís worse is that these are tactics that Satan used in their day and are still being used today against every saint that serves God. Listen to what Paul said.
So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God's law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. Romans 7:21-23
These things are common to the Christian but as a Christian I find one factor in my Christian life to be true, I must be determined to remain true the covenant I have with God. Each of us must make an effort resolved to obey each of Godís command because God gave us the responsibility to be strong and courageous. Like Paul said
No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize. 1 Corinthians 9:27
Letís remember that when God gives you a command that God also enables you to obey his commands. Put these scriptures into remembrance. God put his spirit in you (Ezekiel 36:27) to empower you to obey him and to be his witnesses Acts 1:8. The scriptures tell us that God did not give us a spirit of fear 2 Timothy 1:7 but a spirit of power.
For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline. 2 Timothy 1:7
You have the divine power to demolish the arguments oppose the knowledge of God within you. We must become like David who faced Goliath by our faith in God. By faith Jesus repeated the words of his father and can be seen as one who had a sharp double-edged sword in his mouth Revelation 1:16.
You see the weapons of spiritual warfare are the words that come out of our mouth. Jesus testified to the strength of his fatherís word because he always repeated the words of his father John 12:50.
Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth. John 17:17
Jesus also testified to the trustworthiness of the words coming from the mouth of Satan.
When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies John 8:44.
God has given man a foundation for basic truth and truth is always in agreement and supported with other facts. Truth is consistent throughout the bible because every truth is repeated several ways and several times. The truth puts you on solid ground and benefits everyone who knows the truth on the matter. On the other hand the lie is a source of confusion, defeat and ruin. A lie is always meant to deceive you into believing things that elevates and transform the deceiver into a saint.
The answer to the problem of being afraid of praying in public is to take stock of the promises God made to you to strengthen you, therefore
Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. James 4:7
With time and practice the fear of praying in public will become easier to overcome. Think of prayer as spiritual warfare where you communicate with those in command so they can devise ways to relieve pain and suffering or destroy the work of the devil. Understand that Satan is attempting to prevent you from telling God where to direct his efforts. Partner up with God when you pray you to let the world know how much God loves them.