In church settings, we frequently find ourselves expected to pray out loud. In prayer meetings, in all the other meetings, during a church service, at our home group. But for many of us, praying out loud can be really daunting. What should we say? What if we get it wrong? How embarrassing!
This is something I’ve had to work on over the last few years, so hear are my top tips for praying out loud.
Pray before you pray
Before you begin to pray out loud, take a moment to ask the Spirit to guide you. Ask God to lead you in your prayers. Focus yourself on God before you pray, then whilst you are praying out loud, allow yourself to be led by the Spirit – be flexible to take your prayers somewhere you weren’t expecting.
Pray how you would in your head
The only difference between your normal prayers and praying out loud, is the “out loud” section. You can use the same words, the same style of talking. God hears both of these prayers in exactly the same way so there is no need for us to use a different type of language just to impress the others who are listening.
Don’t compare your prayers
When you hear other people pray, it can be easy to start comparing their prayers to your own, especially if they have lots of experience. Maybe they use fancier language, or seem super confident in the way they pray. God loves hearing from both of you, in your individual ways. If he isn’t comparing your prayers to someone else, then you shouldn’t be either.
Keep up with the news
When we pray out loud, especially in a prayer meeting setting, we often want to draw upon things that are going on in our wider community and the rest of the world. Keeping up with what’s going on in the news can be a great resource for this – check a news app in the morning, listen to your local radio in the car, read a newspaper or watch the news on TV.
Have a framework in your mind
Something that has really helped me to be more confident in praying out loud, is having a framework to follow. This can be super flexible to change, but it gives me a good idea of how I can shape my prayers and means I’m less likely to struggle to think of what to pray for next. This could be as simple of Thank You, Sorry, Please (read more about this here), or one that I’ve used for longer intercessory prayer has been: praise God, prayer for ourselves, pray for our church/congregation, pray for our local community, pray for our country, pray for the rest of the world. These can be shaped however you like, but serve as a great model to build upon.
Practice, practice, practice
The best way to get better at praying out loud is to practice. If you’re nervous, why not involve praying out loud in your personal prayer time? Then, make a concerted effort to get involved in praying out loud when you have the opportunity. Don’t shy away from these opportunities, but intentionally but yourself in these situations where you are expected to pray out loud.
Do you have any other tips? Why not try praying out loud in your prayer time today, whether together as a family or by yourself!