The Lord is truly challenging me on another whole level. When it comes to words, I’m pretty good with saying the right thing and making people feel my emotions and understand my point….ON PAPER!
As good of a writer as I am, my verbal communication sucks. This is nothing new to me, when I speak in front of crowds I get nervous really easy. My voice shakes and I start to sweat. Over the year it’s gotten better, but public speaking isn’t my gift. I’ve always been timid when speaking and I tend to keep things to myself. But truly God has come to challenge that.
It’s one thing to be able to deliver God’s word through text, on paper and blogging. But it’s another thing when you open your mouth and speak to people. Words are spirit, so what you’re saying is feeding their spirit. Sometimes it’s not enough to just write something on paper and pray that God’s word reaches someone, sometimes you have to open your mouth and speak to the person’s spirit verbally, i.e praying out loud.
Ok, I confess…God is getting on me, but I have a fear of praying out loud for people. I get really self-conscious and unsure of what I’m supposed to be saying. In the back of my mind I always wonder how much “power” can my words really have on a person? Tonight in church we had to pray for the person sitting next to us, out loud with our eyes open and looking at them. Man, this thing really threw me off.
I was caught off guard. Of course I prayed for my neighbors, but honestly I wasn’t confident in what I was saying. In the back of my mind I was doubting the very words God was giving me to speak. And as it’s happening, I feel God jacking me up, like…”I know you can pray better than this. Why are you doubting me right now?”
When I came home tonight, I had to pray again and ask God to help me rebuke this spirit of fear I have for openly praying for others. I can pray a silent prayer for someone all day. But it’s like, praying out loud challenges me on another level. And I heard God telling me, that when he tells me to open my mouth, he means for me to open my mouth and do it with confidence in his Word and truth. Confidence that the words are coming from him and that they serve a greater purpose beyond my own self consciousness.
I have to understand that it’s not about me, but that God is sending a word for the other person’s spirit to receive and if I’m scared to open my mouth and do what God says, then that person is missing out because of me! And I don’t want to be the reason someone misses their shift in God. (This takes me back to a scripture in Numbers 23 where Baalm couldn’t curse the people of Israel because God has put it in his mouth to bless them instead!)
God is also telling me that I need to up my personal prayer life. Prayer takes practice and I don’t do it enough on my own when I’m alone with God. It’s not always enough in my mind to say silent prayers, but I need to open my mouth to put things in the atmosphere and set the tone of my environment. There are some things I need to open my mouth and declare before the devil that he will not get the victory.
Praying out loud has always been a challenging area for me. It requires coming outside of your comfort zone, and that can be difficult. Truly this is crazy because tonight’s word was on the spirit of fear and not allowing it to burn out of flame of passion for God and his works. (2Timothy 1:5-7) At first I thought it was about my gift of writing and the project that I’ve been trying to put together. I haven’t been as into it lately, I’ve become relaxed because I haven’t been hearing anything from God. Part of me has become frustrated because I almost feel stagnant with this project. But at the end when the message was over and we had to pray out loud for each other, then it hit home.
It’s funny how we’ll think God is tapping on one thing and he may be, but ultimately he’s trying to get you to see a bigger picture. You may think it’s something small, until God shows it to you through his eyes. It’s crazy how God works, because tonight’s message bought confirmation on a few other things in my life. I love when the service isn’t necessarily a “high praise” service, but the word is still rich. My pastor has been talking about divine shifts and the minister tonight mentioned shifts and during praise and worship before the word I prayed about a shift. God is piecing some stuff together, I don’t know what it is, but I’m willing to hold on to Him and trust him for his guidance and he’ll do the rest.