This afternoon I went to a prayer meeting at my church. There's a small group of us who gather 2 to 3 times a month to pray together, and while praying in a group setting is always quite awkward for me, I find myself drawn to these meetings and encouraged in my faith walk by them.
Now to be honest, I don't really pray out loud a whole lot in these meetings. I do a lot of agreeing with what others are praying out loud, but most of my prayers in the group are said in my head, through my heart, or whispered through moving lips that no one can see or hear.
I guess the reason for that is because I seem to pray so different than others.
When I pray by myself...in my room, or most often when driving in my car...my prayers are more like a conversation with an invisible friend sitting in the seat next to me. As I pray I share things and talk things out, not in an eloquent sort of way, fishing for the right kind of words. Instead I just speak and let honesty flow out of me whether or not it sounds good, righteous or holy.
I tend to believe these are the kinds of prayers that God loves best. Prayers where my heart is laid bare...exposed...and completely open to Him.
But when I pray in a group.....I feel the need to pray differently. Maybe it's simply that the kind of vulnerability I pray with when it's me and God, one on one, is not the kind of vulnerability that I feel comfortable sharing with a group. But a part of me also thinks it has to do with the fact that everyone else seems to pray so....eloquently. Their words are chosen carefully, the thoughts they voice are perfectly coherent. It's actually quite beautiful to be honest....but it's also quite intimidating.
It makes me stop a wonder if the fact that I speak so non-nonchalantly with God through out my day, means I've stripped prayer of it's holiness. I wonder if because I don't strain for the right words and make sure my thoughts are clear, if I'm taking something sacred and making it mundane.
Is it possible to make prayer too common-place? To strip it of it's sacredness by seeing God as more of a friend I'm talking to, than the Lord of all? Or is God just pleased by the heart that seeks Him...no matter what format it takes?