Four steps to overcoming fear of praying in public

Four steps to overcoming fear of praying in public

“Please don’t pick me. Don’t pick me. Don’t pick me!” I lowered my head down in fear as watchful eyes scanned the room and the mantra of “Don’t pick me” chanted in my mind. It was the end of our bible study meeting and the leader asked someone to close with a prayer. It was the moment I dreaded most.

I didn’t grow up in a family that prayed. Being raised up in a foster home, we had an amazing foster mother who strongly believed that all of her ‘kids’ had to go to church every Sunday. Unfortunately, few churches take the time to teach their congregation how to pray.

I always felt that I was not ‘good enough’ to pray. Not so much that God didn’t want to hear from me, but my fear stemmed more from:

  • Comparison: I couldn’t pray those ‘amazing prayers’ like so many others I knew.
  • Palpitations: I would literally break out with sweaty hands, racing heart and clear fear if ever asked to pray in public.
  • Shame: I felt ashamed that as a Christian I should know how to pray amazingly well, but I was embarrassed by how other people would perceive my prayer.

And to be frank, even today I still have those remnants of fear when asked to pray in public. Do you have these same feelings when asked to pray in public? Here is what I found that helped me.

Four steps to overcoming fear of praying in public

1. God alone: I had to remember that my prayer was for God and not man. When Jesus taught us to pray the first words were “Our Father” (Matthew 6:9). We address our prayers to Him and only Him alone. Our creator loves us and as our Father calls us to come to Him not only for all of our needs but just to talk. It is hard to not care about what others think (or even say) about our prayer, but continually pray and ask God for courage to focus only on Him.

2. God first: Prior to any prayer, I would say a quick silent prayer to God to ask Him to fill me with His spirit and speak through me. He is the potter and I am the clay. As His vessel, I freely open myself up to carry His message. Many times I will not remember at all what I prayed, but I would feel content and at peace after praying. I have also found worship before prayer soothing to the soul. Sometimes in your prayer you may even flow into singing and worshipping as your heart cries out for Christ. With so many things trying to distract my time with my “Abba Father”, worship helps to clear my mind and allow me to focus on Him.

3. Study: There are many examples of prayers in the Bible. It delighted me to find that prayer did not have to be ‘long’. In the Bible, some are very short (1-2 sentences) whilst others are long. It was a reminder to me that public praying doesn’t have to be long. It should be Christ-led. Dig into the Word and examine those prayers. There are also outstanding books written by Christian authors on the topic. The goal is to study, to understand, but don’t feel as if you have to copy anyone. You were uniquely made. The Bible was giving to us for everyday living. Jesus taught the greatest prayer himself, so take the time to study Matthew 6:9-13.

4. Practice. You knew this one was coming. Start practicing at home by yourself, or wherever your special place may be. Then practice amongst friends and family that you are comfortable with. Even if practice means standing up in front of your church, then do so even as your knees are shaking and your heart is trembling. You know that God is leading and guiding you so His words will flow out of you.

Final thoughts:

Prayer is a conversation between you and God. It is that live connection that allows you to build a closer relationship with Him. I hope that these four steps to overcoming fear of praying in public helps you in growing in Christ. The song writer sings “what a friend we have in Jesus”… In the Bible, only Moses spoke to God face to face like a close friend (Exodus 33:11). Imagine God as your best friend. Let us all work on praying and drawing closer to Him.

For free resources on praying powerfully, you can access them here.

Prayer: Father, how great is your holy name. You left us with so many great examples of prayer in Your Holy Word. We come before you praying what was taught by your precious son,

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
    on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
    as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
    but deliver us from the evil one.


Have you ever been disappointed in God? Wondered why everyone else seems to be blessed, but everything is going very wrong in your life? What do you do when your foundation is shaking, and you no longer believe what you once believed? How can a loving God stand by when you are in pain? What do you do when God is silent?

Casandra Morris, the author and founder of the Godlywoman911 brand, experienced a living hell:

Tired of being tired! Wake up. Go to work. Participate in any extra-curricular activity. Church on Sundays. Home. She thought she was doing just fine. She would describe herself as happy, kind, and generous. She even led the youth group ministry and directed all the church summer camps for a long time.

Miss Goody two shoes. Life was good. Too good. By 35, she had two failed marriages, three miscarriages. Two deaths that rocked her life. Oh, and almost murdered. It was a hot mess!

With riveting stories of heart-wrenching honesty, loss, grief, and healing join the journey Casandra took in discovering the truth and hearing the voice of a once silent God. Casandra invites us all to ask God our hardest questions of faith, such as:

*Am I lovable?
*Does God care? Does God have feelings?
*What does it look like to fear God?
*Does God speak to us? Or is that only a Bible thing.
*Why should I forgive a mother who abandoned me?
*Do I have a purpose?
*Is God actually hearing me?
*Can I pray “Send me” if it means getting cancer, loss, or heartbreak?
*Can I bring joy to God? And does it even matter!

In her pursuit of God, Casandra found something better than good church answers: She found a God who had been pursuing her all along. Silent God: Know why God does not answer unpacks the touchpoints of a daily walk that brings joy to God. Join Casandra as she shares how she has come to know without a doubt that love triumphs when you learn the truth of God’s word.

Published by godlywoman911

I became a Christian at a young age and baptized at the age of 13. My journey has been bittersweet. A majority of my life I have been a Christian. But not a Godly Woman. After many failures, tears and tribulation I realized that something in my Christian life had to change. No longer can I profess that I am a Christian but don’t show daily that Christ lives in me! No longer can I claim that I am HIS child when my thoughts, actions and deeds were not overflowing with HIS love. No longer could I live the way I was living and not seek him daily in prayer, scripture and worship. As the Lord blessed me with that knowledge I felt him also calling me to write my journey and share my thoughts, learning and mistakes with others. Hence the reason for 911. Not only was it a crises in my life to become a Godly Woman but as I delved into scripture to understand how to be Godly, I realized that we are living in crazy world where the desire to be Godly was no longer important. Many boast that they are a Christian and weekly attend Church, but lack the Godly qualities that Christ seeks in ALL of his followers. My deepest desire is to serve Christ faithfully, obey HIM joyfully, trust HIM always, seek HIM eternally and become his close friend so that I can share in his truth and knowledge. I pray that this blog blesses you and provide you with the strength, courage and wisdom to be a Godly Man or Woman.

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