Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Learning to Pray Out Loud

OK, think “bing.com”, that Microsoft commercial. I went to google.com and typed in “learning to pray aloud” and this is what I got:
Courage to pray out loud
Is it necessary to pray out loud?
i would like to eventually learn to pray out loud, with words or in song
Upperroom.org – How do I pray out loud?
Ask for volunteers to pray aloud for the specific concerns of group members…

My dad’s blessing before meals, and his mother’s before him, was short and sweet: “Lord bless this meal and all others”. Kevin’s stepdad’s prayer is the opposite. Your stomach will be growling and someone will be laughing before the prayer is over.

I went through MasterLife training in my former church years ago and one lesson that always stuck with me is a lesson we had on learning to pray out loud. The facilitator used the Lord’s Prayer as the model prayer, as did Jesus in Luke 11:14 when his disciple ask “Master, Teach us to pray”. The facilitator, Steve, broke it down, to show us how the Lord’s Prayer can be used to author a prayer you will have the confidence to pray out loud.

We analyzed each phrase, broken it down, looked at supporting bible verses. We pondered questions like is thanking God praising God? What exactly is our daily bread? How do we ask for forgiveness? Are we really forgiven “as” we forgive others?

So I dug out my discipleship books – sad that I had to dig them out – and thought that I would put this into practice this Lent. Each week I'll use the formula Jesus gave us to begin to pen my prayer – and I hope you'll use it to create your own prayer. By the end of Lent we will have practice pulling together that prayer which we have the courage to pray out loud. We'll have confidence to know what to say, how to praise Him in prayer, why we thank Him and how to add our heart felt requests.

And maybe the next time when I hear Caroline or Tom say “would someone like to close us in prayer?” maybe, just maybe, I’ll have the courage to pray out loud.

1 comment:

  1. It always amazes me that the most significant lessons in life are “simple” and the Bible in its simplicity tells us exactly how to pray in Mathew: 5-8. However, the problem lies with us as Ellsworth Kalas reveals in his “Lenten Study. Jesus taught us how to pray in the Lord’s Prayer but “we say it so often and because its words have the flow of poetry, we are likely to speak it without investment of either mind or heart.”

    Personally, I found myself saying the Lord’s Prayer without thinking about the words until faced with some serious personal adversity and suddenly made a promise to God that until I could say it slowly and mean it, I would repeat it no matter how many times it took. Only then, did the significance of the simple prayer really take on monumental meaning in my life.

    Jesus said: “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on Babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many works. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. This, then is how you should pray:” and he gives us the Lord’s Prayer

    For this reason, I think we should all slow down when we repeat the Lord’s Prayer and give ourselves the time to think of what we are saying to “Our Father” in serious context not something spoken from memory without thought or meaning.