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Tuesday, December 14, 2021

4 Tips to Help You Pray Out Loud

This blog is part of a series where I try to answer your questions about the God, the Bible, and the Christian faith.  Ask me your question in the comments section and I’ll try to answer it in an upcoming blog.

Recently I was asked, “Why is it so hard to pray out loud?” Some people don’t mind praying out loud.  It terrifies others!  They'd rather die!  Don’t feel bad if you struggle to pray out loud.  It’s a very common struggle, even for deeply committed Christians.  I’ve known pastors who struggled to pray out loud–especially at the beginning of their ministries.  Some avoided becoming pastors because of their fear of praying outloud. 

So if you are a pastor or church leader, you should always check with people before you put them on the spot and ask them to pray out loud at a meeting.  Even if you think you know someone, check with them first if you’ve never heard them pray aloud. 

Now, let me give some tips to help if you struggle to pray out loud. 

Tip Number 1 - Practice
Practice praying out loud when you’re alone. It may surprise you, but most people aren’t used to hearing the sound of their own voice.  And hearing your voice when everyone else in the room is completely silent can really weird you out.  So, practice praying out loud at home when you’re all alone.  God will love it and no one else will know.  Practice makes perfect. 

Tip Number 2 - Pray for Dinner
Start by praying for dinner while alone or with your family.  This is how I learned how to pray out loud when I was a kid.  My parents prayed for the meal and sometimes they asked the kids to pray.  We simply copied them and prayed something like: “God is great!  God is good!  Let us thank Him for our food! By His hands, we all are fed.  Give us, Lord, our daily bread.  Amen.” 

A simple meal blessing like this is easy to remember.  From this, I became accustomed to praying out loud and it was easy to progress to prayers for other occasions as I grew older.  This is a great way to train your own kids to pray and it can help you too.  Start a family habit of praying before your meals, even when you go out to eat in a restaurant.  It’s a good spiritual practice for your family.  Let your kids in on the fun while they’re young.  It will bless your family in so many ways and help you and your kids learn to pray out loud.  There's quite as sweet as hearing your kids or grandkids say the blessing. 

Tip Number 3 - Just Talk to God
You don’t have to pray like the preacher at church. Just be yourself.  God isn’t looking for fancy language.  He just wants you to be you.  Some of the best prayers I’ve heard were plain language that sounded like a friend talking to a friend.  So just be yourself. 

Tip Number 4 - Keep it short.  Keep it simple. 
Trust me, no one is going to complain your prayer was too short.  People like short prayers!   (God does too!)  Don’t try to go on and on.  Just say what you need to say and be done.  In fact, it’s perfectly OK to memorize a short standard prayer you can use.  Start with a standard basic prayer and add anything specific you need to pray. 

When I was growing up, I had a basic prayer that went like this: “Dear God, thank you for everything You’ve given me and done for me.  Please heal anyone who is sick, comfort those who are grieving, and forgive our sins.  In Jesus Name. Amen.” 

So you can pray something simple like this and if you think of anything specific, just add that in too.  

Praying out loud can be hard when you first start, but the more you practice and the more you pray, the easier it will be.  So, let’s pray right now: “Jesus, help everyone reading this to learn to pray out loud.  Amen.”

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