Praying is scary

Pastor Jean Newell, Sun Lakes United Methodist Church

What is it about prayer that makes praying so scary? For some, it may be the desire to find the right words, while for others, it may be more about being in the mood. Then again, sometimes it may be the needs are so many, with fires on the West Coast and hurricanes battering the East Coast, one is not sure where to even begin to pray! Sometimes it may be that one is not sure which one to pray for, so rather than praying “for the wrong thing,” one simply avoids the dilemma and doesn’t pray!

Any of those reasons sound familiar? I don’t know about you, but they do to me, because I’ve used all of those excuses at one time or another when I felt overwhelmed by the number of people or situations needing to be lifted up in prayer. When you think about it, though, praying is a lot like eating an elephant, one needs to tackle it “one bite at a time!”

Why, then, is the act of praying so scary? I don’t think God is concerned about our choice of words. God has heard it all! I think God is concerned about honesty. I don’t think God is worried about what mood we’re in; He will listen to us even when we need to take a time out. I don’t think He worries about how much we include in our prayer. He is less concerned with the quantity and cares about the quality, the authenticity of the prayer itself. I don’t think He expects us to pray trusting in ourselves to have the answers; instead, He would rather we pray trusting Him for the answers!

After all, instead of spending time stewing about the “what is, the whys, and the how of praying,” we simply need to pray. God will take care of the rest!