Fear of Praying: Book May Be the Answer to Your Anxiety
Ouida Lee’s ‘Simply Pray’ shows how connecting with God doesn’t have to be difficult
Many people fear public speaking, but avoiding it can damage a career. Similarly, the fear of praying can hurt a believer’s spiritual life.
That’s what Rev. Dr. Ouida Lee, senior pastor of Church of the Disciple, hopes to change through her new book, Simply Pray: God Wants All to Pray.
Dr. Lee created inspiring prayers and compiled them into a book that anyone from a beginner to a longtimer can use.
“As a pastor, I get many requests from people to pray for them,” Dr. Lee said. “I believe that because of the way we [as leaders and pastors] pray, people feel that is the only way to pray, so they refrain from doing it themselves. But I also believe that God wants everyone to pray.
“We can pray in a simple manner because Jesus prayed very simply,” she said. “The disciples asked Jesus, ‘Lord teach us to pray,’ and he taught them what we call The Lord’s Prayer — just a simple prayer, and it is just as effective as a long prayer. I believe it is the spirit in which one prays and the faith that one has that makes all of the difference when we pray. But it begins by just simply talking to God. “
Dr. Lee said she wrote the book so people would have examples of how they could pray.
“Some of my prayers say that I am angry at this time, but I still pray. God wants us to pray at all times. It says in the Bible ‘in season and out of season.’ So whatever is going on in your life, when you pray, things can be different,” Dr. Lee said.
At under 100 pages, the book is easy to read. It is categorized into four types of prayers:
Petitionary prayers, to express “our needs and desires to our loving God.”
Prayers of supplication, which are humble prayers of “sharing with God the things that hurt and no one seems to be able to heal.”
Prayers of praise, designed to honor God — no requests, “just a simple praise for all that God has done and is doing in our lives.”
Prayers of thanksgiving, which can be offered daily and with gratitude. They may be only a few words to allow “sincere communication with God.”
Some of the prayer titles include: Prayer of Restoration, Prayer When I Am Angry, Prayer for the Workplace, Lord Deliver Me From Me, Prayer of Healing and Prayer of Recovery. She also lists prayers for specific people: A Prayer for a Clergy Sister, Thankful for a Loving Mother and A Prayer for Danita.
Dr. Lee said she wrote the book as she traveled because she found the plane to be a quiet place to gather her thoughts. When other passengers asked her about her writing, many would ask her to pray for them. One man even came to her church and brought the two boys he had requested prayer for.
Testimonies throughout the book encourage the reader to have faith in the power of prayer.
Dr. Lee even shares how prayer helped her when her son died. “That was my Number 1 reason to say simply pray because when you have a very devastating loss, it’s very difficult to pray a sophisticated prayer, something that sounds pretty,” said Dr. Lee. “You’re hurting so bad all you want is to just feel normal. I just needed to understand that God knew what I was living through and would meet me in that place of brokenness. I think of what John Wesley said to us as Methodists: ‘You speak faith until you have faith.’ Prayer is about having faith.
“I know that some people believe that they need to go have the super-praying people pray for them, but I have learned that I can talk to God in the most simple way, tell God what is on my heart, and I have seen God work a powerful miracle in my life. I know that it works.”
Published: Wednesday, July 19, 2017