I don’t know if anyone else can relate to this but here it is.
Being a Christian, of course usually brings us into different Christian circles of friends, co-workers, family or study groups where prayer is most likely a common occurrence.
Do we sometimes ever wonder what others or the Lord thinks about our prayers as compared to others’? I know for a fact in the past it happened to me. At first when praying ‘out loud’ in others’ presence, I was very shy and kind of withdrawn. Usually prayer had been very private for me, and only the Lord and I knew how or what I prayed.
Then the opportunity or challenge of praying ‘in public’ so to speak, came about and as I said, I wasn’t used to doing so and therefore was very timid talking out loud. As time passed, I became more open and forthcoming with what I prayed. It didn’t occur to me however that at some point I actually felt I was competing with others who were in the group. Sometimes I felt that their prayers were much more eloquent and surely God favoured them more than mine. Surely their prayers would be answered as they knew how to pray better. Not that they thought that way, but I did. I found that I tried harder to say the right words in the right way, and became very self-conscious when I was praying; too self-conscious forgetting the importance of what the reason for the prayer was.
I don’t know how or when I realized that I wasn’t in competition but that I only should be praying what I felt in my heart, and realize who I was praying to…and not to worry if it sounded ‘holy’ or if I was saying it right…only that I meant every word I said.
Still, sometimes now when I’m praying alone there is the odd time when I am too conscious about how I’m praying. However, I stop myself and confess to God what He knows already and continue, just telling Him what’s on my mind and my heart.