I know. This is a cheesy title for a devotional. Somewhat sensationalized. A bit arrogant sounding. Maybe a little simplistic. But, I believe there actually is a resource that would benefit most of your prayer lives above any other. Here it is; When you are alone with God, pray out loud.
I started doing this early in my Christian life, in college. I don’t know why I did it. I had no theological grounds or even advise from others. It just felt right. I prayed on walks often, and the prayers were out loud. At times I have found it more difficult (having multiple kids in the house for a few years was one!). But, God has always had me return to it over time. Why pray out loud?
· praying out loud is biblical. David may have been the best pray-er other than Jesus. His Psalms were the Prayer Book for Israel, and regularly used by Jesus in his own prayers. David said this, “With my voice I cry out to the LORD; with my voice I plead for mercy to the LORD. 2 I pour out my complaint before him; I tell my trouble before him.” David did not just pray with his mind. He prayed with his voice.
· praying out loud helps us focus. When you talk to other people, you do it out loud. It not only helps them hear you, it helps you focus on what you are saying. We all experience, “when I was praying, my mind wanders. I get distracted with other thoughts jumping into my head. I don’t even remember what I was saying”. But, if you are having dinner with your spouse and repeatedly stop mid-sentence because you are distracted with a thought, dinner will not end well. We expect to be able to keep on target when we talk out loud. It happens in prayer as well
· praying out loud helps you feel like Someone is listening. This is a precious benefit. Talking out loud makes the conversation feel real. This is how we experience talking with others. One talks. The other listens. It is normative and personal. Praying out loud reenforces that God wants to hear you. It compels you to want to talk. It feels like He wants to listen.
· praying out loud helps you worship. Many of you have heard the acronym, A.C.T.S. for the elements of prayer (Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication). But, most of our praying focuses on S. We ask for things. But, when you pray out loud, you will find that you are more struck with who you are talking to. This feels real. I’m really in HIS presence. Worship feels right, appropriate, compelling. I worship God better when I talk to Him out loud. I think you will as well.
The biggest hurdle to praying is…. we just don’t do it. Maybe you need to change things up a bit. Take a walk, and begin to talk to God out loud. Ideally, have it be the first conversation you have in your day. Praying out loud really might be the #1 help to making prayer real.