Spiritual Practice


Michael Lichty

I fear public speaking. I intensely and passionately fear public speaking. When I have a speech to make, I sometimes wish for laryngitis or a blizzard or a fire in the building so that I can get out of it. I know my fear is irrational. I know that public speaking involves no real danger, and I keep praying that God will take away the
fear; but nothing helps.

Then the Lord reached out his hand and touched my mouth and said to me, “I have put my words in your mouth.”
Jeremiah 1:9 (NIV)

As much apprehension as I have about public speaking, people keep asking me to do it. “You are a natural!” they say, or “You have a gift!” So I keep speaking, even though I suffer every time from a pounding heart, a dry mouth, and the wish for something—anything—to happen so that I can escape. I don’t know if my fear is God’s will, but I do believe that God is teaching me. While I still pray for God to take away my fear, I pray even harder that God will use me and that my words will not be my own but God’s.


5-SECOND PRAYER: God, give me confidence to do your will. Amen.

—from devozine (September/October 2015). Copyright © 2015 by The Upper Room®. All rights reserved.

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