Being thrust into a public speaking role was exactly the scenario Moses found himself in, despite having some issues with speaking publicly. He was chosen by God to step outside his comfort zone and to lead the Israelites out of their Egyptian slavery, a task that would involve talking to both the Israelites and the Egyptians, even the Pharaoh himself!
But Moses pleaded with the Lord, “O Lord, I’m not very good with words. I never have been, and I’m not now, even though you have spoken to me. I get tongue-tied, and my words get tangled.”
Imagine dozens and dozens, perhaps even hundreds and hundreds of eyes staring at you, eagerly hanging on your every word, waiting to hear words of knowledge, wisdom, and hope from your mouth. That is a pretty intimidating scenario for most people. I definitely felt this way as a graduate student when I presented, for the first time, my research findings to all the big names in my field at a conference near London. I most certainly did not feel at the time that I had lots of wisdom to share, just my graphs and data. I was clutching my notes with one hand, even though I had memorized them, as if my life depended on them, and hoping that none of my slides were out of order or upside down. (Yep, we still had projector carousels with actual slides in those days!)
Today, I enjoy public speaking, and I frequently have to speak to large groups as a scientist or university administrator. So, the story of Moses intrigued me because I initially could not understand why Moses had any issues with public speaking. Having been raised at the Egyptian royal court would have afforded him an excellent education, so being knowledgeable or knowing how to carry himself should not have been an issue. There are some theories that maybe he had a speech impediment or physical handicap, but nothing like that is mentioned in the Bible. Whatever the reason, Moses was clearly grasping for excuses to avoid what God was calling him to do.
Yet, he was in a unique position as an Israelite raised and educated in Egypt, a position that allowed him to accomplish something amazing and grand! Because he chose obedience and used what he probably felt was a limitation (not being a good public speaker), he found that with God by his side, his potential was limitless. He put God at the center and trusted him, and he was able to use his voice to free God’s people.
What do you feel are your limitations? Have you ever felt like you had something important to say at a crucial moment, perhaps to help someone? Did you use your voice, or did you stay silent?
Look for opportunities where God has placed you in a unique position to use your voice to help others. Practice using your voice in these moments while trusting that God is by your side.
Participate in 21 Days of Prayer. You can find out more at cedarcreek.tv/21days. (Download the personal prayer guide. Share a request for prayer. Download the parent resource)
Dear Father in heaven, thank you for giving us opportunities to raise our voices and be heard in order to help others, even if at that moment we feel terrified to speak up. Amen.
21 Days of Prayer – Day 3
Today’s Prayer Focus for 21 Days of Prayer: Our City – Toledo, Perrysburg, Whitehouse, Findlay, Oregon, and Northwest Ohio.
This post was written by Cordula Mora. Cordula is a neuroscientist who currently works in the Provost office at Bowling Green State University. She was born and raised in Germany, then spent many years living in New Zealand before settling in the US almost 16 years ago. She was raised in a German Lutheran church but feels blessed to have been spiritually awakened when she was introduced to CedarCreek Church. She thanks God every day for all the blessings in her life, including two amazing daughters and a wonderful man who loves the Lord.
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