Public prayer for beginners

G.E. Watkins has a great article for those who are facing the challenge of leading a public prayer.

I don’t have a clear memory of the first time I led a prayer, just impressions. Those impressions are of fear, failure and shame. I was baptized when I was fifteen or so and I was big for my age (near six feet and over 200 pounds). This is all just to say, I know what you’re going through, I’ve been there. I’ve felt the dread, the sweaty palms, all of it.

The author gives some great tips on finding the courage and being prepared.

This for our Year of Prayer in 2009.

J. Randal Matheny

Be pithy.

1 thought on “Public prayer for beginners

  1. I do not recall the first time I led a public prayer in my home congregation. I do recall the first time I led one at a meeting at a different congregation.
    Out of the blue, the minister, whom I had come to hear, and who was an old friend, made comment from the podium that he had seen me in the crowd and would I please come up and lead them all in prayer.
    Well, I’m not going to tell you I took it all in stride. I was probably in my late 20’s to early 30’s and began to sweat like a field hand in the middle of the day! I had heard older men offer the most eloquate of oration to our Lord earlier in the meeting, how could I possibly live up to those standards?
    As I stood before the congregation to offer my petition to the Lord, I hesitated for only a second, to grasp my opening line, and with that, “Our most gracious heavenly Father…..” came out and the rest followed! Turned out, I wasn’t supposed to live up the the standards of men after all, imagine that!

    I don’t mind praying, speaking, announcing, or whatever is needed now, but back then, well, I was nearly speechless.

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