Wow, just reading the title of this blog post scares me a bit. I have to admit to you all that I am nervous about sharing pieces of my life with others. Sure, it may be easy for me to share details of my life that are somewhat surface level that may seem like I am opening up and sharing a part of myself, but really when I get down to it, it’s a way for me to keep those others parts of my life hidden.
Maybe you can relate?
One area that God has been working in my heart on this, is with my prayer life, especially my public prayer life. Wow, is it intimidating to pray in front of others and be vulnerable with the desires and struggles of my heart. One thing that sometimes I am fearful of, is how my prayer may sound to others. Am I begging God too much to change my situation, or will it wear on those that I am praying in front of if I keep praying about the same trial that I am facing, or will I fumble over my words and not sound eloquent? I think some of these fears stop us from being real with our prayer.
The other area related to pray that God has been challenging me on, are what things I am praying for. I think for myself, I try to be others centered in my prayers, especially if I know someone close to me is struggling with something, and I forget to pray for the things that are heavy on my heart, dealing with my own life. This can be especially tricky for me when my spouse or others who I am close with are in the room praying with me. And the fear of judgement scares me. What if so and so found out how I really feel? What if I pray about something that my spouse isn’t aware of?
But I have found when I open up about myself and what I may be struggling with at the time, I have been supported in what those struggles are, and it has given me comfort knowing that there are others alongside of me, who are able to pray for me and ask me how I may be dealing with things. And it doesn’t just have to be struggles. I want to be able to celebrate the amazing work that God is doing in my life as well, but again, will people think I am bragging about my situation if I pray about it publicly?
There is something intimate that happens in prayer. It’s not just a way for us to express our requests to God. I think it’s also a way for us, as Christians to unite in our desires and our requests, and to support one another in prayer, with what we may be struggling with. It’s a way for God to come to us, through those that we are in relationship with.
So I challenge you ladies, the next time you are asked to share a prayer request, I ask you to share something that you are struggling with, or that you want to celebrate, instead of maybe instantly thinking about your neighbor or co-worker facing something. They are important to pray for, but so are you 🙂