I was recently asked to pray at a small gathering. Praying in groups rarely intimidates me. I don’t think much about it, because I’m simply talking to God, no matter who is listening.
But this was different. First, I had a warning, so I had time to think about it. My organizing, analyzing mind can be a great thing at times. Other times, it gets in the way. Second, I’m deeply invested in the people who would be in the room. Each relationship came with important ties of respect, influence, or challenges.
I instantly said I would pray, but the hour or so between my commitment and actual prayer time was wrought with wrestling. I’d settle in and remember prayer is not about the people eavesdropping around me, but I’d vacillate in waves of the weight of witnessing, choosing the right words, avoiding the wrongs ones, and so on.
So, I prayed about praying. And God was good to remind me that just as my private time prayer was between Him and me, so was my public prayer. Yes, I was praying on behalf of the entire group. Yes, everyone else in the room would hear everything I said. But the impact wasn’t my responsibility. How people heard the prayers, accepted or rejected them, and were affected by them was not my responsibility. It wasn’t even in my power to take responsibility. It was God’s.
I need to trust Him.
Speak with Him.
So, I did.