Praying Out Loud

As a minister, I spend a lot of time praying out loud. Whether the Prayers of the People on Sunday morning, the blessing of a meal with friends, or a bedside request for comfort at the time of death, voicing prayer is part of my daily vocation. In recent years, I've been surprised to lean when people do not like to pray out loud or in public. So often we worry about saying the "right" thing or knowing what exactly we're requesting.

God did not intend for spoken prayer to be a source of intimidation or fear. Prayer said with our mouths is something to celebrate. Numerous psalms declare the awesomeness of making our requests known to God. Of course, God hears our silent cries when we don't know how to pray, but let us not ignore the importance of speaking our requests.

Where do we begin? How do we know what to sayout loud if we haven't done so before? The good news is that Scripture abounds with prayers that we can use as a blueprint for what to say! When Daniel realized one day that God had spoken to him in a dream, he uttered this prayer, found in Daniel 2:20-23:

So Daniel blessed the God of heaven.20 Daniel answered and said:

“ Blessed be the name of God forever and ever,
For wisdom and might are His.
21 And He changes the times and the seasons;
He removes kings and raises up kings;
He gives wisdom to the wise
And knowledge to those who have understanding.
22 He reveals deep and secret things;
He knows what is in the darkness,
And light dwells with Him.
23 “ I thank You and praise You,
O God of my fathers;
You have given me wisdom and might,
And have now made known to me what we asked of You,
For You have made known to us the king’s demand.”

What a beautiful prayer of thanksgiving! And this is only one example from Scripture.

Today, in addition to your silent prayers, find an opportunity to pray out loud, whether anyone else hears or not. Let the words roll off your tongue, knowing that those words fall on the ears of the one who created your voice. Begin with a Scripture, and over the next few weeks, we'll learn more about voicing prayers from your own heart to God. Let us not neglect the gift of prayer; and let us not ignore the power of praying the Word of God--out loud!

in Easter grace,
Pastor Darian