Friday, October 9, 2009

Love Is...





Praying Together.







Many of my blog readers are Christian and might question the challenge in my putting this one out there because it's just always been done. But honestly, for this homegrown Christian, praying with others, even my husband, does not come naturally. You know the sufferer-in-silence type (not to do a recap on Twilight, but I love that phrase), well, I'm that too, but I'm also the pray-in-solitude type.

I'm sure I drive God to roll His eyes more than a dozen times in any given day with all my silent solitude prayers. I do hound Him a lot, but I figure, He's God, He can shut me out whenever He wants to, so I'll just keep talking, and when He has a minute, maybe He'll tune in to my frequency for a few seconds now and then, and the chances are pretty good that I'll be lifting something in prayer during those moments. But to pray out loud (with the exception of Grace before meals)with another person listening in, yes, even if that person is my amazing hubby, makes me tense inside and out. It is NOT NATURAL for me. Even though it should be!

There is a reason why I do so many revisions/edits on my manuscripts. It takes me forever to get to the point and find just the right words to convey that message, and I'm no different in prayer. To share a prayer with another, for me, is like letting them see my rough drafts that ramble, stumble, falter, and just plain stink. But I know that God hears prayers all the more that are lifted in numbers, and spilling your heart out to God with a loved one listening in and raising those same joys, concerns, requests, etc. is a gift that God wants each of us to receive and use.

So, if you're in the habit of praying aloud with your loved ones, awesome, keep doing it! But I will challenge you with this: Is there a care or concern that you've been hording in your solitude prayers? Might you be ready to receive the gift of sharing it with your loved one while raising it to our Heavenly Father?

Now, if you're like me, and just plain articulating a prayer vocally in the presence of your loved one is a growing experience, I challenge you to grab a few moments with him/her and just do it. Start a new and improved way of praying! The blessed rewards are sure to surprise us, not only in our relationship with our loved one, but in our faith journey as well.



Surrendering to Him,

Eileen

25 comments:

Katie Ganshert said...

I must admit, everytime I see your Friday posts in my dashboard, I start singing "Love is a battle field.." Pat Benetar-style. Everytime.

This is a great one! I love praying with hubby. We don't do it as often as we should though.

Janna Qualman said...

There's just something so vulnerable about praying out loud, sharing those thoughts. I have trouble, too. But what a great analogy! If I compare the idea of sharing my prayers as I share my writing, maybe I can use the same determination to get through it.

Great post, Eileen. Have a great weekend!

Faith said...

Ack... this is something I need to hear, but don't want to. I've never liked praying out loud, not even at meals, and it's been a struggle to even get to the mealtime prayer. We haven't moved back to praying together yet (we tried it for awhile after we first got married... unfortunately life got busy and together time with God took a back seat), but we really should. I definitely need to get over this. But I think it might be what you said... it's like putting your roughest rough draft out there for your loved ones to see. Sigh.

Tabitha Bird said...

praying together means getting raw and vulnerable with those we love... but isn't that the point of loving? Getting raw and vulnerable enough to let others inside the spaces where the prayers are rough and ready and maybe not even well thought out. It is really hard, but sooooo worth the effort. :)) Great post.

Rebecca Nazar said...

I come from New England Puritan, Methodist, American Baptist stock--quiet, stoic types. I don't pray out loud ever. I'm set in my ways. :-)

Wendy @ All in a Day's Thought said...

You've given me the nudge to ask my husband to pray with me tonight.

Thanks, once again!
~ Wendy

Diane said...

It is definitely easier the more you do it. When I stop focusing on what others are thinking and just think of it as me to God it flows easier and without my awkwardness in the way. :O)

Natalie said...

My husband and I pray together every night. We have a great relationship and I think this is one of the reasons why. A marriage with God at the center is a happy marriage. Thanks for the post today, it is a good thing to remember.

Georgiana said...

This doesn't come naturally for me either! The only time I really pray aloud is at the family prayer when the kids go to bed. Great challenge!

Jessica said...

I have a lot of trouble praying out loud. It doesn't come naturally to me either. I wish I prayed more with hubby.

Tamika: said...

I do pray aloud without any discomfort. That is largely due in part to the prayer journey I took a few years back with two of my dearest friends. We prayed together over the phone for two years concerning our marriages. It was the pinnacle of my decision to start trusting God with every are of my life.

He did supernatural things in our marriages and our lives. I will always cherish that time.

We still gather to pray often.

Stephanie Faris said...

One thing that intimidates the heck out of me is praying for a group of people at dinner or something. Some people are just really, really good at it. I never know what to say!

Erica Vetsch said...

When I'm at my beam ends, there is something about the sound of my husband's voice, lifted in prayer for me, that makes my soul sing.

Lovely post today, Eileen.

Cindy said...

You are so right about praying out loud being like showing people your rough draft--except I can never say anything as good out loud as I can on paper.

I like what Stephanie said above. Praying out loud intimidates me. And I am around people who are very good at it, with so many years of experience it comes naturally--and well.

It was a challenge to start praying with my hubby. We still don't do it all that often but it really helps that he initiates it a lot and has taken a big step toward moving that part of our relationship with God further.

Thanks Eileen for these Friday suggestions--I look forward to them every week.

Susan R. Mills said...

I am just like you in this regard. I prefer prayer in solitude. I grew up with a family that prayed together, so I'm not sure why. This is definitely something to think about.

Eileen Astels Watson said...

Hi, all.

I've been baking muffins for my daughters church group meeting tonight so it was great to come and see so many comments here.

Intimidation--yeah, that's exactly what it feels like to me when I lead a prayer in our Christian Ed. and Nurture team. Everyone else is so much better at it than me.

Great to see so many of you do prayer with your loved ones, and I'll be praying for courage for the rest of us to try venturing into this soon.

Jill Kemerer said...

I'm just like you, Eileen! It's uncomfortable, to say the least, for me to pray out loud. Unless it's the Lord's prayer or the table prayer :) I really like your Friday relationship posts.

Have a great weekend!

T. Anne said...

Funny you should mention this, I just started a new method of praying for those who visit my blog. I've prayed many times before for my fellow bloggers but now I'm praying individually over each commenter. And I'm happy to be praying for you too!!!

Jill said...

You have such a beautiful blog! Thanks for coming by and visiting mine.

Public prayer can make you feel vulnerable. I try to focus on the fact that I'm not talking to the one I'm praying with--I'm talking to my heavenly Father. My prayer partner is just listening in on the conversation.

Jody Hedlund said...

Wonderful thoughts, Eileen! It's never easy to bare our souls in our writing or in prayer! But we can do both!

Robyn Campbell said...

Eileen, I love your post today. It's beautiful. I don't have a problem praying with the family.

It's when called on to pray at church. I know what I want to say at those times, but I begin stumbling over my words and I loose sight of what I wanted to pray for in the first place.

Thanks for this. :)

Heather Sunseri said...

I love this post Eileen! Articulating a prayer out loud has been a challenge for me at times. God just wants to know what's going on in our lives and to be a part of every second of our lives. I rest knowing that he's fine whether I stumble over the words or sing them in tune.

Lee said...

Great post. I've never had a problem praying out loud. Our church leadership taught us how to right from the get-go. They always believed it was mandatory for prayer growth. The only time I find it hard is when someone does a Phariseen type of prayer, rambles on with lots of flowery words and no real substance.

Hubby on the other hand doesn't find it easy. Our son is like me, he'll pray at the drop of a hat and doesn't care who's there. I think it's also a personality thing.

Jeannie Campbell, LMFT said...

AMEN! my hubs and i do this every night before bed. awesome way to create intimacy.

Warren Baldwin said...

I've had the same experience as Jessica - praying out loud sometimes doesn't feel natural. But, as I've done it more, I've found it be actually be helpful - praying out loud helps keep me more focused. Good post.