Part of my problem at the time was that I had very low self esteem and had no confidence in much of anything I was doing. Looking back, I can say that this affliction was one of the worst things I ever went through in my life. It wasn't until much later in life that my confidence began to improve with a success here and there---but I still dreaded it when I would have to speak before a group.
One of the most terrifying thoughts always occurred when I would be a part of a church group. What if I was asked to say a prayer? Oh, my gosh---I couldn't refuse to say a prayer! I would have to actually say a meaningful prayer! How would I go about doing that without having a heart attack? By and by, the day came when this did happen. I did my best to fight through my fear and mumbled something unintelligible and said a loud "Amen" at the end of it and got out of there before anyone could comment on how bad a prayer it was. Ha.
As time went on, and my age progressed, and my life experience built some successes in business, personal relationships, social situations, etc, I began to feel at ease in speaking before groups. In fact I began to enjoy it. Soon, I was actually asking for opportunities to speak in public---teaching Sunday school, singing before groups of people, leading classes in various subjects. Soon, being a speaker or singer in front of others was FUN! I had come full circle! Now, my friends and family often tell me they can't shut me up! I take that as a compliment. I don't EVER want to go back to those years when fear held its power over my life.
I thought this might be a meaningful blog posting because there are so many people who suffer this same fear of public speaking that I once did. It can be overcome very spectacularly by making yourself DO IT! With practice, fear will dissipate and the joy of being a speaker will take its place.
Before I close today's post, let me offer a little suggestion for those who might be fearful of being asked to say a prayer for a group. Simply remember the ACRONYM "ACTS".
A---Adoration....Begin your prayer by expressing adoration to God for His grace
C---Confession....Confess to God the group's humanity and imperfection
T---Thanksgiving....Thank God for all that He has given to the individuals of the group
S---Supplication....Ask God for whatever you or the group needs