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how can I get over my phobia of praying in public?

I grew up in church and feel that it is extremely important to take my kids to church. My kids are really wanting to go to Sunday School, but I have one problem. This may sound crazy, but I have a phobia of being asked to pray in front of the congreation or the Sunday School class.This is keeping me from going to Sunday School. I was extremely shy as a child, and I guess I never grew out of it. I pray to myself every night and at church, but I can not pray in public. What can I do?

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Asked by Anonymous at 9:34 AM on Apr. 2, 2009 in Religion & Beliefs

Answers (12)
  • I can't do it either, LOL! Glad I'm not the only one that freezes up when I get asked :)

    Answer by ReneeK3 at 9:35 AM on Apr. 2, 2009

  • I have to say the opening and closing prayers at our American Legion meetings. I find a nice verses & rehearse them or write it down so I'm not put on the spot.

    Answer by RugersMommy06 at 9:36 AM on Apr. 2, 2009

  • Until you get over that fear just talk to your sunday school teacher in private and request to never be asked to pray outloud. And about the congreation.. I have never seen a Pastor randomly ask someone to pray unless they were an usher or something where they know they could be asked to pray.

    Answer by amy31308 at 9:37 AM on Apr. 2, 2009

  • I am absolutely paralyzed with fear when anyone ask me to speak in front of any group. So I understand what you mean. Some people just get "stage fright" You could try telling the coordinator, that you have this fear, that way until you can become comfortable with it you may not be put on the spot. Just tell them you have horrible stage fright, so bad that it makes you hesitant to even come, And that you are working on it alone and will let them know when it has changed, They should understand, will not call apon you and may even be able to offer some advice on how to cope.

    Answer by Mommyxtwo777 at 9:42 AM on Apr. 2, 2009

  • yeah,speak in private,with sunday school teacher,and pastor.I do lead prayers,but it took me awhile,but I am fine with it now.I had to realize I did'nt need to use any big words,or speak fancy,I just pray from my heart,and God gives me the words. Good Luck,and God Bless.

    Answer by Val504 at 9:43 AM on Apr. 2, 2009

  • me too!!!! My mother was quite strict with attending church which as I entered teen did not want to do because of problems between us. To this day I do not say prayers in church, I say them in my head. I sit at the back of church so I am not an oddity in my mindspeak. Don't volunteer to lead prayer. Pretend sore throat coming on. You're not alone!!! One of my batch of 3 kids glady prays aloud with te congregation in our church, the other two are like me though I've encouraged them to be themselves either way. God loves us whether or not we are heard by our pewmates in church. If you were asked to speak spontaneously in memorial about some one could you do it? Maybe think of public prayer like that, speaking about a friend who's time with you you've cherished, your friend God. Try too reading aloud from a prayer book or bible at home alone and then at meals maybe. You're not alone!!!

    Answer by Anonymous at 9:47 AM on Apr. 2, 2009

  • You could just pull your Sunday School leader to the side one day before class and tell them your concerns. Just be honest and say that you will be happy to let him/her know when you feel comfortable enough to do it. We are all human and we all have our things we really don't like to do. If this teacher/leader isn't understanding of that, you will know during that first talk and you can move on to another class. Don't let fear stop you from doing something for yourself or even more importantly, for your kids.

    Answer by DDry at 9:53 AM on Apr. 2, 2009

  • Just request not to when asked or let them know ahead of time that you dont feel comfy doing it. They should understand and help you out there.

    No need to get over the fear of doing it if you arent ready to. And if you are, best way is to just do it. Maybe practice saying prayers outloud standing in front of the mirror or your family.

    Once you are up in front of a crowd and have your eyes closed just focus on who you are praying to, not who you are praying in front of.

    Sometimes you just have to jump right in and do it. Thats how I got over my fear of talking to people while on my mission.

    Answer by BonesDragonDew at 11:17 AM on Apr. 2, 2009

  • I know where you are coming from...I recently became an active Christian and my pastor calls on her congregation to do stuff. I was called to say any verse from the bible I chose; I closed my eyes and did what i had to do all the while shaking like a leaf.when I was finished I felt good iside. Now I practiced at home when I am by myself, I even want to record myself.Try doing these things by yourself imagining you are church infront of all the people. Try to know some of the members personally, that helps too. In two months I have become a pro at public speaking etc. I will pray for you.

    Answer by charmedlady at 1:13 PM on Apr. 2, 2009

  • One way I got over it was walking around my house (I'm a SAHM so the kids are the only ones who look at me funny) talking out loud to God constantly. I would verbalize my prayers at home, until I felt they fit "me." Sometimes being afraid of speaking a prayer out loud we tend to get too grandiose with the thees and thous, etc. but I just talk to God now like he's standing there next to a friend. Pretty soon I felt more comfortable praying at the start of our MOPS meetings.

    Answer by Anonymous at 3:27 PM on Apr. 2, 2009

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