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  1. #1
    Rubber Nipple Salesperson ladypinkington's Avatar
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    Default I feel uncomfortable praying in front of people.

    I don't exactly understand it really myself, but I really don't like praying publically.

    I feel very selfconscious I guess and I feel like all of a sudden I have to be "ON" for God. I just don't like it.

    It doesn't feel natural to me and is not one of my gifts and I feel like people are judging me when I do or are appraising my spirituality based on how good of a speech I make to God on behalf of everyone. I have heard people say, wow you can tell this person is really in love with God by how they pray. I don't agree with that.

    I don't think it bad to pray publically I just don't think it is for everyone. I admire those who have a gift for it but I just don't have it and don't feel that I fail some kind of litmus test because I don't.

    I am not big about advertising for God so to speak, I am not out to save people- I don't befriend people as part of an outreach to save their souls- I befriend people because I simply like them and they don't have to share my personal spiritual or religious beliefs for me to be friends with them- they don't have to have any at all.

    I just want to be me and them be them. I feel that I will have done God a good service by being a good quality friend to that person and trying to live my life according to my principles. I feel like God is the one who saves- not me.

    I am not very evangelistic at all- it isn't a gift of mine either. I don't like preaching about God but I do enjoy asking questions about God-especially those which cannot be asnswered and asking others about their belief's.

    Sometimes I feel like a spiritual faliure but deep down I feel like I am just different then most others and am misunderstood.

    I wonder if anyone else can relate.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Bella's Avatar
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    Oh, yes. Communicating via talking is not my strong point, not with people, not with God and most definitely not with God, in public. I tell Him (when I do try) 'I feel like an idiot, I'm stopping now, 'k'. That's why I'm rather relieved about the Bible. I can spend time with Him without talking. Oh, hooray.

    As for feeling like a spiritual failure - pooh! God's standards for us and our standards for ourselves are very often all messed us. If he has your heart, I think he's pretty pleased. He doesn't mind that you suck at public praying.
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  3. #3
    Queen hunter Virtual ghost's Avatar
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    This is probably because of introversion.

  4. #4
    Rats off to ya! Mort Belfry's Avatar
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    So don't do it.
    Why do we always come here?

    I guess we'll never know.

    It's like a kind of torture,
    To have to watch this show.

  5. #5
    Queen hunter Virtual ghost's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mort Belfry View Post
    So don't do it.
    I was thinking the same thing.

  6. #6
    veteran attention whore Jeffster's Avatar
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    Well Jesus said to go off by yourself and pray, rather than doing it in front of people anyway. I forget the exact chapter and verse, but it's in there.
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  7. #7
    Rats off to ya! Mort Belfry's Avatar
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    It doesn't sound like something I'd say.
    Why do we always come here?

    I guess we'll never know.

    It's like a kind of torture,
    To have to watch this show.

  8. #8
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    ladypinkington, I very much relate to what you said. I get similar feelings whenever I attend mass or occasionally go to a rosary prayer group. It seems almost as if the other people are praying with more devotion than I am, wheras my prayers seem more simplistic by nature.

    I even get this impression when I compare my prayers to the more eloquent prayers of the great Saints.

    But I wish to share with you the insight given to me by a friend, that God appreciates any words spoken out of geniune love for him. It doesn't mean that articulated prayers are bad, but neither are more laconic prayers. Also keep in mind what the great writer Georges Bernanos once stated: "The wish to pray is a prayer in itself"

    We each have our own unique ways of expressing our profound love of God, and we should appreciate and embrace the fact that God's name can be honored in such a variety of ways. It shows, among other things, how great God truely is - that he is no mere one-dimensional being.

    I don't know what particular tradition you adhere to, but may I suggest you look into the great hermits of Christianity; men like St. Anthony of Egypt. These men took it upon themselves to follow Christ's example of wandering in the wilderness, to be with God alone. You may find some inspiration in their example.

    CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: Hermits
    CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: St. Anthony

    Hope this helps.

  9. #9
    ⒺⓉⒷ Eric B's Avatar
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    I've never had prolems praying in a group in itself; it's just that many times I would not have that much to say. Especially now in a somewhat charismatic circle where people can fill a half-hour easily (much of it being repeating stuff over and over).
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  10. #10
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ladypinkington View Post
    I don't exactly understand it really myself, but I really don't like praying publically. I feel very selfconscious I guess and I feel like all of a sudden I have to be "ON" for God. I just don't like it.

    It doesn't feel natural to me and is not one of my gifts and I feel like people are judging me when I do or are appraising my spirituality based on how good of a speech I make to God on behalf of everyone. I have heard people say, wow you can tell this person is really in love with God by how they pray. I don't agree with that.
    What's really funny is that I have started attending a church denomination well-known for its support of gay/lesbian members... and they pray just like people at any other church (conservative) that I have attended. They are crazy about God and have faith in his promises and embrace their own humanness and trust God's divinity and love.

    So if I have to go by prayers, they love God just as much and perhaps more... because they have a really keen sense of what it means to be social outcasts and minorities. They know what it's like to be abused by the callous majority, and still somehow try to find love for the people who reject them.

    So I guess I'm saying it's sort of funny when people make that judgment, because what they are really operating from is "that person must really love God because they pray in a way that makes me 'feel good in some way' and that they also share my doctrinal beliefs." People are constantly mistaking deep aesthetic pleasure and the connection of community as something that they are getting because of their particular beliefs, but the experiences run across all faith traditions and artistic endeavors.

    Which is why you might feel judged. I hated public prayers except with people I trusted, because you are unveiling your heart (if you pray for real, with meaning), and people will judge your doctrine and what you pray for.

    And, as a Ji-primary person, I will admit that I judge people too, I can't help it, I'm constantly evaluating what comes in front of me... with the caveat that I don't hold it against a person and that I am very open to new information and change my judgments as I go.

    I don't think it bad to pray publically I just don't think it is for everyone. I admire those who have a gift for it but I just don't have it and don't feel that I fail some kind of litmus test because I don't.
    People are gifted in different ways. An intellectual person might still need to serve on the physical ministry side sometimes, and vice versa; but in general there are various roles in the group because people are different. Some people are gifted with public prayer.

    I am not big about advertising for God so to speak, I am not out to save people- I don't befriend people as part of an outreach to save their souls- I befriend people because I simply like them and they don't have to share my personal spiritual or religious beliefs for me to be friends with them- they don't have to have any at all.

    I just want to be me and them be them. I feel that I will have done God a good service by being a good quality friend to that person and trying to live my life according to my principles. I feel like God is the one who saves- not me.
    I agree. I used to feel guilty for not "witnessing/evangelizing" people when I was trying so hard to be part of the evangelical movement, but that's not who I am. I can care about people and engage them and value them regardless of their beliefs, and I hate meddling in their decisions; what I have to offer is multiple perspectives and a sense of safety, where they know they're loved, valued, and can trust me. Trying to force someone to believe something that is just a subjective faith statement really offends me and makes me feel dirty when I've tried to do it to others.

    if God doesn't like that, so be it. I don't think all of us were created to be "get in their face"ers. Some of us have to be connectors and bridge-builders and safe havens.

    I am not very evangelistic at all- it isn't a gift of mine either. I don't like preaching about God but I do enjoy asking questions about God-especially those which cannot be asnswered and asking others about their belief's.
    That sounds very familiar.

    Sometimes I feel like a spiritual faliure but deep down I feel like I am just different then most others and am misunderstood. I wonder if anyone else can relate.
    *waves hand, jumps up and down*

    As far as public prayer goes, too, and feeling judged when you pray? I think lots of people feel that way.
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