By Kim Butts
God can hear our prayers anytime, anywhere, and at any volume! He is able to hear us even when we think our prayers to Him rather than voice them. Yet, so many of us struggle and would like to be able to verbalize prayers in a group setting. Here are a few tips on how to stretch yourself a bit and grow in this area:
- One of the best ways to grow in praying out loud, is to practice listening to yourself reading prayers from Scripture. You could start with the Lord’s Prayer in Matthew 6:9-13. Hearing your own voice as you pray out loud is an important step.
- Read Psalm 145 out loud back to the Lord and then say, “Lord, You are___(fill in the blank with some of the attributes you find in this Psalm). Looking for ways to praise God in His word is a powerful way to express your love for Him out loud. The more you know about Him and His goodness and love, the more you will want to express what’s on your heart to Him.
- After using Scripture to help you pray out loud for awhile, try to voice your own prayers based on those you have been praying. Here is just one way: try looking at pictures of some of your family members and tell God what you want to pray for each of them. For example, “Father, my daughter Emily is really struggling to make friends in her new school this year. Would you bring her some godly young women to get to know?” Or, “Lord, my husband has such a stressful job. Please help him to feel Your presence and to be filled with peace instead of anxiety.”
- When you are ready to try praying in a group, first recognize that you are talking only to God, and not to the other people around you. Flowery or “super-spiritual” language is not required. Talk to Him as you would talk to a good friend about the person or situation you are concerned about. Don’t worry about how others view your prayer…it is between you and God alone.
- Spend time with others who are in love with Jesus and listen to them pray. Ask them how they learned to pray out loud and see if they can give you some good ideas as well!
As with anything new you undertake, the more you practice praying out loud, the more confident and comfortable you will become.