I HATE PRAYING IN FRONT OF PEOPLE.
My parents used to always ask us kids to pray before the meal. After I started declining everytime they asked, they sort of dropped it. They never ask me to pray anymore. Honestly, the part of me that's still terrified of being open about my walk with God is pleased with the fact that I don't have to pray in front of even my parents before a meal. I was content to listen to everyone else pray - but ask me to pray, and I'll refuse with a wildly beating heart and soul.
But today...*relieved chuckle*...today, I prayed in front of my therapist. Well, sort of. We were talking on the phone, as I'm in Boston right now and (obviously) can't go to the office. I'll spare you the story (it's a long one), but I said that I would be honest with God about my feelings. And the therapist asked if I would be willing to pray to God, right then and there. I chuckled, beat around the bush, and apologized in advance for my uneloquence (which is clearly demonstrated by the use of the non-word "uneloquence"). Finally, I took a deep breath and said in a shaky voice, "Okay, I'll pray."
"Are you sure?" he asked.
"YES!" I replied, in a voice that was probably far more forceful than it should have been. So I prayed.
Toward the end of the prayer, I said, "God, I know you're already bearing so many of my burdens, but...can you bear this one, too?" It was then that my voice broke, and I began to weep.
And goodnessgracioussakesalive, it was so liberating to pray in front of someone. I confronted my fear...and dispelled it.
Tonight, my family will be eating dinner again together. I'm going to volunteer a prayer. Oh, my heart is drumming nervously at the thought of this, but I'm going to do it.
Will you take a risk with me? I've already faced my fear once today, and it wasn't that bad. Something tells me that if you'll face your fear, it probably won't be as bad as you envision it to be. Please, will you fight back against the lies tonight? I don't want to be the only one pushing my unhealthy limits.
I believe in you. ;)