Thursday, February 9, 2012

Speaking Out - Using Our Voice

Often when we are in a group we prefer to stay silent rather than speak out when we know we have something important to say.  How can we be His disciples if we feel intimidated so easily in this way? If you feel this limitation be assured that you are not alone.  Here are some reasons researchers have found as to why we tend to remain silent in groups.

We think everyone else is smarter than we are.  We fear we may appear dumb in the eyes of others.  When we think this way we actually do become dumber as we lose our problem solving ability.  Why? because we are focused on ourselves, on protecting our ego. Reseachers say this is more common for women than men and for those who have a higher IQ.

How can we then overcome this limitation so we can let our "light" shine forth as good disciples?  If we recognize that this is just one way the devil works to limit us, then we can easily attack it.  The moment we sense this inhibition, we must call on Jesus with a prayer, seeking His mercy and help. Once we connect with God, then we will lift our center of being out of our ego-self and become centered with our soul in God.  Our minds will then be able see clearly what it is that we should be saying at this moment.  Often it proper to say nothing if it is only going to cause a conflict.  But when directed by God, we will be given the right words to say, enabling us to do His will at that moment.  What is essential, is to have the ability to pause while you are in action and seek God's guidance in prayer.

This is the power of the Jesus Prayer.  If we practice it daily by repeating, "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me," over  and over for at least 20 minutes, this prayer will very quickly be at the forefront of our mind when we need it.  Having immediate access to this prayer can help us with any kind of anxiety. 

The clinical researches also recommend the following ways to help us with this problem.
Pair with someone who is more outgoing than you and ask them to help you join in the conversation.
Have a brief discussion with the leader of the group and mention the points you would like to share, asking them to give you a chance to bring them up for discussion.
Being prepared is always a must requirement.  Make notes and think about what and how you want to make your points.
Remember that you are not the only one in the room who shares this kind of anxiety.  Learn to encourage others who may have the same problem as yourself. A good discussion is where everyone's views are shared.
Above all, do not forget the power of prayer in such a situation.  This never fails if you can remember to do it.  Make the saying of this prayer a habit and you will never be without meaningful words when they are needed.

More on Jesus Prayer


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