Steve: “Edith, will you close us in prayer?”
I was 18 and in college attending a Bible study as a first time visitor. Steve finished the study and asked me to pray. I had never prayed out loud except for the blessing at family meals. I knew then and there that I needed to learn to pray out loud. Now you will find me ready to pray at any moment – at a Bible study, on the phone, in the parking lot, wherever anyone needs prayer.
Many of us are terrified to pray out loud. We panic and worry. What will I say? Will I use the right words? Do I need to use church/Bible language?
Praying out loud is simply talking to God. 1 Peter 3:12b says, “His ears attend to their prayer.” God wants to hear our prayers!!! He is not interested in church language and right words – He wants to hear what is on our hearts. So if you are unsure about praying out loud, here are some helps.
I have learned to block out everyone around me and to picture just me and God together as I pray.
Pray out loud in your quiet time. This will help you become comfortable in speaking prayers aloud.
Pray Scripture. You don’t have to come up with the words, simply pray the Scriptures inserting the people’s names for whom you are praying.
Use ACTS as your guide. Adoration – pray a reason you and others adore God. Confession – confess that you and others have sinned. Thanksgiving – thank God for forgiving you and for the many things He has done. (This is praise!) Supplication – simply list out the prayer requests that you have written down from the group – no need to elaborate.
Write out your prayer. Practice reading it out loud so that you are comfortable when time comes to pray.
Pause before you begin praying out loud. Ask God what He would have you to say. You will be amazed and blessed as He directs your words.
Include the group in your prayer time. Once prayer requests have been shared, ask someone to open in prayer (check with them beforehand) and then give people the opportunity to pray as they feel lead. Do not worry about silence. Then you close the prayer time.
Above all, remember that you are talking to your Friend who wants to hear your prayers.