To Confess a Fear

February 20, 2012

Articles

So, I began to write about this in a journal, but decided to share it with the world instead (I am so laughing and shaking my head right now.) I help others realize their ability to overcome their fears and how to “feel the fear and do it anyway” yet, here I sit confronted with one of my own. I figure it will be a step in the right direction if I confess it here first, as I have been able to make some sense of it now, because of the help of an incredible friend.

Welcome into the depths of my heart once again…

Here I am an advocate and a speaker yet, I cannot pray out loud in front of others.
I totally freeze up. 

Let me say that again:

“I cannot, do not pray out loud in front of others ~ it terrifies me!”

My daughter is the only one I’ve ever been able to pray in front of and I understand why now ~ she’s never hurt me with it. Please don’t misunderstand though, because I actually pray many times through out the day and mostly for others, but I always do it privately. 

Prayer is very personal and not something I just rattle off out of habit. When I pray, I am always sure to give thanks and praise of course, but it is a time when I become most vulnerable, revealing weaknesses and the things I and others might need help with. In such a pure and honest place with God, I feel completely exposed (I tend to wear my heart on my sleeve as it is…) And as I look at the past, I realize I have almost always been hurt by the people I prayed in front of and they really took advantage of the weaknesses I exposed. They often used my own prayers against me and in more ways than one (including cult activity.) That is what abusive, controlling and manipulating people do ~ they expose and prey on the weaknesses of others (whether consciously or subconsciously.) After enough of this from spouses and spiritual leaders as well, I guess a part of me decided it was just better not to pray out loud  anymore and I became very fearful and uncomfortable with it.

As a side note: a lot of this will make much more sense as I continue writing and sharing my stories (book) with you.

I am also content to realize that this fear isn’t related to confessing Jesus Christ as my Savior, because I have no problems nor any shame in being a Christian, regardless of what it has cost me in the past (just like SO many others.) In fact, I have to remind myself not to boast of it out of pride, I suppose. And I can join in agreement with others who pray out loud easily enough, but that is the extent of my “public” participation. It makes me sad not to contribute more though and it has always been a great desire that I may conquer this fear. I hope that becomes easier to do as I continue learning how to trust again and now that I’m able to recognize where it comes from and why.

Can anyone else relate?

How about you ~
have you ever struggled with this or something similar?

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16 Comments on “To Confess a Fear”

  1. The Bible Man Says:

    I learned to pray out loud in front of others COMFORTABLY after I met Wendy my girlfriend. We developed a habit of praying out loud together every morning before she heads to work. Not only has this blessed our relationship tremendously, but after months of doing this, I have found it much easier to pray out loud for and in front of others. Good post!

    Reply

  2. nightshade130 Says:

    I have come to a place where, If I know that my enemies are present when it’s a group prayer, I only speak on things I am comfortable with. Sometimes the personal issues that we struggle with aren’t for everybodies ears especially for the immature at heart. It is at these times that I go into my prayer closet and seek God to help me with these deep wounds. It’s a matter of discernment when it comes to prayer as well.

    Expose the weakness with people you trust but if you do not know who to trust, then expose the weakness before God and ask God for divine connections to help you with what you struggle with. God will show you who to trust in the long run. I have suffered the same thing and I understand your weariness to expose your inner sufferings with others. Just understand that when you decide to expose your weaknesses in a crowd, there will always be some immature individuals that will be present…but understand that spiritual manipulation and condemnation should not be the response to a confession. If such do this…remember that the devil is an accuser of the brethren so understand who the accusers are in your life and remember that Jesus rejoices in the contrite at heart and He is the redeemer of all those who diligently seek Him. At the end of the day, those that are so ready to cast the first stone must look at their own mirror because they have many planks in their own eyes.

    Jesus says, forgive 70X7 times and that He came to set the captives free. He is the one who loves you because His love is perfect, and Perfect Love Casts out Fear, so be bold, be courageous and be prudent and discerning. For Fear is not of God and God did not give you a spirit of Fear, but of Power, and of Love and of a Sound mind. Those that seek to torment you with their condeming voice, you must reject their negative confessions because, God didn’t send His Son Jesus to die on the Cross for us in vain. Remember that when you confess before the Lord.

    I hope what I have said is helpful. God Bless you Jessie for sharing your life with us. God is doing a great work in you. Stay Blessed Always :D

    Reply

    • Jessie Jeanine Says:

      Perhaps the thing I’ve prayed about most for myself and my own child over the years has been a greater gift of discernment. You offer some wise words here my lady and I’m grateful. Choosing to ignore and walk away from those who may cast the first stone without any knowledge or haunt me with their condeming voices has indeed taken me many years to learn… it got easier when I began to realize that all that negativity and evil is NOT from God, but from the enemy and that its exactly like you said, He did not die in vain so why would I choose to listen to them instead of believing what God says about me. “Understand who the accusers are in my life” is a great way of wording it and to remember “that spiritual manipulation and condemnation should not be the response to a confession.” Thank you for sharing all that you did and many blessings!

      Reply

  3. Lady Deidre Says:

    Isn’t it beautiful how different we all are and yet fit together for Christ. You’re dropping seeds for Jesus, if the Lord wants you to do something different — He’ll let you know!
    You have a lovely & gentle spirit!

    Reply

    • Jessie Jeanine Says:

      Like puzzle pieces ~ while they each have value on their own, it isn’t until they are pieced (fit) together that they create a complete and very beautiful picture.
      Thank you so much for your sweetness my friend :)

      Reply

  4. granbee Says:

    Yes, I can relate quite well about not being able to pray out loud, but for entirely different reasons that you have, dear one. I have been in positions of trust, involving national security issues, where I knew not to pray out loud for months on end, depending. I still have some limitations in that regard and am still leery of these invitations to join help groups online that require you to submit something “completely truthful and life-changing” about yourself in order to become a full member! I have had friends in school who reported moderate abuse,mostly verbal ridicule, when certain relatives overheard their bedtime prayers. I am praying so much for you right now,my chest is about to burst with caring for you. How I hug you through cyberspace, dear jessiej!

    Reply

    • Jessie Jeanine Says:

      Actually my dear, we just may have a bit more in common then you think. While I am not on any national security level, I have certainly been involved with matters of security and undercover across the country where I too have been very limited at times in different areas of life (again, so many more chapters of my life to come through my stories.) It can be a very lonely existence even though it’s for the sake of others. I return your warm hugs my friend with the threat of never letting go! :) I will keep you even closer in heart and prayer. Blessings and Discerment!

      Reply

  5. isaiah43123 Says:

    You have me thinking on this one. There are people I feel comfortable praying out loud with then others I do not. I wonder why?

    Reply

  6. desirayl Says:

    Great post I believe everyone is different when it comes to praying I know for me I was just like your daughter I did not want anyone to hear me praying but when I got older and joined an Intercessory Prayer Group that changed everything. Now I love praying for people out loud and I still love my quite time when I pray to God and no one hears me.

    Reply

  7. faithandstagefright Says:

    Public prayer can be tough, in some of the same ways public speaking in general is hard for many. But here’s the thing with prayer: It’s between you and God. Prayer is a wonderful part of the very personal relationship you have with Christ. Different people have different ways of praying, because everyone’s relationship with God is as unique and wonderful as His children are! You are the perfect apple in June … Just where God wants you to be. If/when He desires you to pray publicly, He will give you the strength and words you need. That you’re seeking Him and communicating with Him is what’s most important, because now He can lead you and grow you in your prayer life to what He desires for you. Be patient with yourself and keep loving and seeking Him!

    Reply

    • Jessie Jeanine Says:

      I very much agree that what is most important is that I personally continue to seek and communicate with Him in all things. And I think you are correct in the idea that He will lead and guide me (if I let Him) to what HE desires of me ~ great reminder btw, so thank you and for your kind remarks :) Have a blessed week!

      Reply

  8. LeRoy Dean Says:

    But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. (Matthew 6:6)

    There’s nothing wrong with praying in public (for the right reasons)(Matthew 6:5).
    There’s nothing wrong with praying quietly (Matthew 6:6)

    These scriptures are not be addressing what you are sharing, but I believe that you may be a quiet prayer warrior. There is nothing that says you must pray outloud. Oftentimes, some who do pray outloud are coming from vainglory and trying to impress with their eloquent praying.

    Please thank God for your sweet spirit of quiet prayer and remember, He hasn’t given you this spirit of fear…what god thinks is all that matters. In my heart, I believe a problem has been created where there is none.

    I know many Christians who do not pray in public.

    Hope this helps. I am not saying it’s your answer, just something to think about.

    Reply

    • Jessie Jeanine Says:

      Yes sir… I appreciate the scripture you’ve shared here and the way in which you seek to edify me as a sister in Christ. It does help, so thank you. As I think on it from this perspective more, it reminds me of how we each have different gifts and talents within the body to serve and I simply recognize that public prayer may not be one of mine! :) I am good with that if it never changes.

      Where it means the most to me (and what I was mostly referring to maybe) is with a partner/spouse in life and really close friends. However, considering I am single for the moment, perhaps it will come easier if and when the time comes that I am blessed with someone whom I can experience that with. It is mostly about sharing that spiritual connection and intimacy with my family and a partner that I desire. So, maybe it isn’t so much a fear of “public” praying as it is the idea of merely “verbalizing” my weaknesses and displaying my vulnerabilities in the presence of someone else and trusting them like that again.

      “HE has not given me the spirit of fear…” THANK YOU! And be blessed my brother.

      Reply

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