Last week I decided that I need to pursue some changes, and one of them was to pray out loud in prayer on Wednesday mornings. Not because I think praying silently is wrong; I wanted to pray aloud because the reason for my silence was wrong; it wasn't borne out of conviction or a quiet spirit, it was because of my own selfishness and discomfort in praying out loud. To put it bluntly: it is incredibly painful to listen to my inadequate attempts to voice my prayers out loud for everyone to hear.
Truly. I add nothing to the corporate experience; yet I feel that I must pray out loud simply because He is worthy of my prayers and praises, regardless of how bad I am at it or how uncomfortable it makes me feel.
As a carryover of my decision to change some things around, I also realized I needed to start singing out loud during church. A long time ago, I physically couldn't sing and got in the habit of not. I'll just stand there, reading the words, thinking of the words, and even questioning the words, but not singing them. But He is worthy of my praise. So today I tried to sing and realized the deeper reason why I don't sing; it wasn't because I disagreed with the songs' words; it was because I feel the words too deeply in my heart and when I sing them, it makes me want to cry. I don't like crying. I don't like displays of emotion, and the ironic thing is I'm probably considered very emotional! (yet I dislike that too) It's not just that I don't like to cry; it is that I don't like others to see me cry!
So far it has all been one week. One Wednesday of praying out loud and one Sunday of trying to sing. I'm not sure anything good has come from either experience but I'm not giving up yet; I do believe that He is worthy of my praise, no matter the discomfort it causes me. I should be wiling and eager to embrace this wonderful opportunity to gather together to sing and pray.
It still isn't easy.