FAITH, Prayer

Feelings of intimidation in prayer? Four ways to handle.

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

How do we handle our feelings of intimidation and insecurity in prayer? Four ways. Sometimes we feel insecure when we hear other people pray. These suggestions should help.

woman meditating in close up view/How do we handle our feelings of intimidation in prayer?

Overview: Intimidation in prayer

How do we handle our feelings of intimidation and insecurity in prayer? Especially when praying in front of others. I know how it feels because I’ve been there myself. Makes me just want to keep quiet. I sometimes feel inferior especially because I’ve been praying for a long time. It would seem that would not be a problem. But, at times, it still is. Where do you suppose that comes from?

One thing is for sure. It doesn’t come from God. It comes from within us but only because Satan found our weak spot. Satan is not God. He is not all-powerful or all-knowing. He can’t make us feel inadequate unless he finds an open door. We are the ones who open the door.

So don’t open the door!

Praying out loud is my main focus.

Remember, I am referring in this article to praying out loud in front of others. But maybe it will help in your private prayer life as well.

The danger of feeling intimidated about praying out loud is that it might carry over to your personal prayer life. So that’s why it bears discussion because whether or not you ever pray out loud in front of anyone is not a problem.

So what do we do? In this post,

I will describe four ways to handle these feelings of insecurity. First, we learn from them. Secondly, we remember those intimidating-sounding prayers are based on personality and background. Some people are just gifted in speech and the ability to express themselves. They are who they are; we are who we are. The only person we should imitate is Jesus. He is our model. His priestly prayer in John 17 is a good model to follow as well, of course, as is the Lord’s Prayer.

“Pray then like this: ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

Matthew 6:9-13

Thirdly, we don’t let intimidation get the best of us. We don’t allow feels of insecurity to steal our joy. And fourthly, we ask ourselves, “Why?” Why are we intimidated?

First, we can learn from others.

But we can learn from others without negatively comparing ourselves. For example, I’ve learned to express thanks in better ways, offer my requests better, etc. I have a friend who still uses “thee”, and “thou”. At first, I found it strange. Now, I find it refined and respectful. I have another friend who begins her prayer,”Dear God, it’s me, (she says her name). She ends her prayer, “That’s all I got.”

Between the two of them, I have found a happy medium for myself.

Secondly, prayer is not a contest.

We are supposed to sound like the vessel God has filled. And he fills us all differently. I know some very mature Christians who find it difficult to pray out loud in the presence of others. Some who have been brought up in church often have no difficulties. It’s natural for them. But for some of the rest of us, not so much.

We don’t have to feel insecure when praying.

Praying is not a contest and we shouldn’t be comparing our prayers to anyone. They are our prayers. When God hears our prayers, he hears only our prayers. No one else’s. So quit comparing.

Thirdly, don’t let intimidation get the best of you.

Remember, it isn’t about them; it’s about you and your growth. I’ve been there. Sometimes, I still am. So you know what I do? If I’m feeling uncomfortable and insecure for some reason, and I’m in a group where everyone is taking turns praying out loud, you know what I do? I don’t pray. Not out loud anyway. Only if I truly feel the Holy Spirit is leading me to do so. This is new to me and here’s why.

We can choose to remain silent.

I’ve finally decided to pray to God is so personal and private, I’ve decided I can choose to remain silent. Matthew 18:20 states that where “two or where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I with them.” NIV

However, this verse doesn’t say we have to pray out loud. Don’t get me wrong. I believe if we feel led and are comfortable, praying out loud, it is good to do. Sometimes, we need to step out of our comfort zone. But of all the excuses not to pray, this not one of them that deserves too much attention. It is one of those easiest ones to put behind us.

picture of a praying gopher/How do we handle our feelings of intimidation in prayer?

I believe as you grow in faith and God calls you to pray in a group setting, you will. But I also believe that if you never do, that’s OK, too. One’s heart relationship with God is far more important than whether or not we pray out loud in a group setting. I know, for sure, that I have never thought twice if someone in a group I’m in, remains silent.

Fourthly, though, why are you feeling insecure when you pray?

I think there are two reasons we might feel intimidated and insecure. One we’ve already covered. We sometimes feel intimidated when we compare our prayers to others. But remember, it’s not a contest. There’s not a winner and a loser.

But the reason may well be we are not sure where we stand with God. Accordingly, we wonder if we are good enough, have enough faith. So because of those feelings, we doubt our standing with God. If you have given over your life to God, don’t doubt any of this. That’s Satan talking that way. You are secure. You are God’s child. Don’t let your own very transient feelings get in the way. You need not let initiation defeat you.

I think we have all been there. And the truth is that some days, we feel closer to God than on other days. This is normal. And we all need to grow spiritually every day.

However, unconfessed sin and engaging in continual sin can also make us feel reluctant to pray. This is something you need to examine and take care of. Unconfessed sin is the biggest barrier between us and God. Take care of it immediately.


In summary, I hope you can see that whether or not you can pray out loud shouldn’t get in the way of your private prayer time. Your private prayer time is strictly between you and God. You don’t have to feel intimidated when you pray.

Make sure you are not comparing your prayers to others and that you have no unconfessed sin in your life. After that let it go.

God bless and have a great prayer day.