By: Zai Chandler
I’m not that dramatic. I have my flare for theatre, but I’m not that bad. Back in the day we had a leader’s prayer meeting where our pastor would spontaneously pick a different leader to host the group in corporate prayer. Every time our pastor got close to me with the mic for me to pray out loud, I would all of a sudden feel a tug in my spirit, collapse and prostrate on the floor. Hallowing the name of God! Like one of the 24 elders bowing before His Majesty, suspended in His glory!
Wish it was true.
Truth is, I just did not want to pray out loud. I was not so much bowing as much as I was cowering. Not in a reverent fear as much as I was just afraid. Did I pray at home? Yes. Did I believe in the power of prayer? Of course. But this was big stuff. We’re praying out loud for everyone to hear your mastery of the scriptures, and your cadence, and your precise pauses followed by your plea of passion. In my mind, this wasn’t bringing heaven to earth, this was an audition. And I wanted no part of it (get it. no part. audition;) This meeting was full of leaders, who pray really well. Why give me the mic? I don’t have anything to say.
After several meetings like this, our pastor wasn’t fazed by my theatrics and gave me the mic. The setting changed, and I was instantly transported from an empty sanctuary to the Sahara. This was the worst case of cotton mouth ever! I don’t even remember what I said, but I recall perfectly what I heard after: “Zai, that was the most beautiful prayer ever.” This was articulated by my Heavenly Father.
It’s interesting, I’ve always thought of myself as a confident person. I thought I could hold a conversation with any stranger, I looked good enough and had good enough breath (the reasonable basics).
But I never realized just how much I lacked confidence in the spiritual world; in teaching or leading others that were older, wealthier, more advanced in their careers than me. I didn’t think I had anything to say.
And that’s a lie from the enemy. We all have something to say; a profound perspective given by the Lord to be echoed to those around. We have something to give, and to a people that are desperately in need. People aren’t looking for inspiration through powerful speech, rather they’re looking for genuine representations of a transformed life.
Authenticity attracts. Silence scares.
And I’m not saying there aren’t times when silence isn’t appropriate. But too many of us are so unsure of what God has placed inside that we say nothing. We do nothing, nominating another person to pray instead. Yet, we have the resurrected power and gifts placed inside for us to discover!
So next time your pastor comes by with a mic, don’t cower away.
Seize the moment.
Tag, you’re it. Say something.
Zai Chandler pastors with her husband Stephen Chandler at Destiny Harvest Church located in Columbia, Maryland. She is addicted to going to new restaurants and pinning things on Pinterest, though she does not actually make them. She loves her newborn who has taken over her and her husband’s sleep. Follow Zai on Instagram @zaichandler.
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