The church I attend host a prayer call every Tuesday at 8PM. We call in and bombard heaven with our different request, determined to flow in our God given purpose. For those that desire to pray, the opportunity is granted. However, for some, praying out loud in a group setting can be terrifying. Below are some things to consider when praying out loud that will help to ease some of the anxiousness.
1. Spend time in personal prayer. Simply put, praying to God in private makes it easier to pray to Him in public. Spend time by yourself with the Lord in prayer. Pour your heart out to Him. Learn to become comfortable in His presence, and give Him a chance to speak back to you. Private prayer helps to train your ear to hear His voice.
2. Spend time studying His word so that you can pray His will. I cannot go wrong praying scripture. I can be sure that I am praying on point when I pray scripture because it is God’s will. 1 John 5:15 tells me that God hears me when I pray His will and I can be confident that He will grant my request. Don’t neglect the studying of His word as this helps to improve your prayer life, and when you pray in front of others, they in turn are blessed!
3. I am praying to God not the individuals who are listening. Keeping this at the forefront of my mind helps me to pray from a sincere heart. There are times when I pray and I may misquote a scripture, mix up my tenses, or mispronounce a word. God is not concerned about that. He is not sitting in heaven going, “oh I can’t answer that prayer because she said ‘is’ instead of ‘are.'” Thinking too hard about how I “sound” and making sure I say the right phrases causes me to miss the true purpose of prayer. My prayer then becomes a performance instead of a sincere offering. Yes, others are listening as I pray out loud but I am not focused on how they will grade my prayer. I am more interested in moving the heart of God. So take a deep breath and relax. Don’t be anxious, just let your words flow from your heart. This is your daddy you are talking to, no need to be afraid.
4. Close your eyes. I find that when I close my eyes especially when praying in front of others this helps me to tune everyone out and focus in on God. When my eyes are closed, it helps me to get in a prayer zone.
5. Don’t hold back. Don’t be concerned about looking composed when praying in front of others. Real prayer requires real vulnerability. If the tears begin to flow as you pour out your heart, let them flow. I know there are times when I am praying out loud and I am determined not to get loud and before I know it, my volume goes from 2 to 15. I am learning to be ok with that, just as long as it is not a work of the flesh. Additionally don’t try to censor every word that comes out of your mouth. Make room for God to use you prophetically as you pray. I have gone into prayer with a “script” in mind and then I feel God leading me to pray something else. I used to struggle with going off script only because it was so uncomfortable and a loss of control. I have prayed before and feel God leading me to pray something that seems to have nothing to do with the subject at hand. However when I am done I have had people come and say that I prayed exactly what they needed to hear. Let your hair down and PRAY!
Do you struggle with praying in front of others? What are some things you have done to help you become more comfortable with praying out loud?