In our Sunday service, there is a time of praying “out loud” together. Some people may find it unfamiliar to pray out loud or wonder why we even need to do so. So let me explain why this time is important.
There are various styles of prayer. Many people like to pray silently because they consider prayer as a private activity and it fits their personalities. Actually, there are times when praying silently is appropriate: when making sound will disturb people around us or we need to make a quick “arrow-prayer” to God. Also, we need to get quiet when we want to listen to what God is saying to us.
But I do believe that there are times when we need to pray out loud and one of those times is when we are gathered as a Church to worship. These are the reasons why.
First, praying out loud helps us to be focused in prayer. When I pray silently, many times I find myself fighting with spontaneous thoughts. On the contrary, when I move my lips and start praying out loud, I find myself becoming less distracted. It is because I’m more occupied with what “I” need to say than my internal thoughts or what “other” people say. If you find yourself being distracted often while praying together, this should help.
Secondly, praying out loud is often followed by “supernatural breakthrough”. This was the main way early church people prayed when they were gathered. Bible says they purposely gathered together in one place, praying in “one accord” (Acts 1:14) and “raising their voices” (Acts 4:24). And as they did that, it brought a supernatural breakthrough. (speaking in tongues, fear being lifted, answered prayer…)
Thirdly, it helps us to overcome “fear of man”. Some Christians pray only silently because they feel embarrassed to be heard praying. However, such timidity hinders us from growing in courage and faith which we need to reach out to the unsaved. One of the best ways to overcome such fear is to practice praying out loud when you are all by yourself. Once you get comfortable doing that, you will feel much comfortable praying out loud with others.
Just as we need to adjust how we talk in different situations, we need to do the same with God. But I think learning to pray out loud is the beginning of fruitful prayer life. Being able to pray out loud prepares us to easily move into other styles of prayers, such as contemplation prayer or listening prayer.