We Catholics excel in secondary contact with God, but we need to be better at praying out loud.
Benefits of Praying Out Loud
- Makes the relationship more real.
- Solidifies memories of the special times with God.
- What would happen if we all prayed in our head during Mass? The way we worship instructs us.
- Talk to God in conversational tone. Have a real relationship.
- Persevere through the awkwardness.
Our first introduction to prayer is out loud.
- Hannah— Courage: to speak one’s mind by sharing all one’s heart.
- 1 Samuel 1:13– “Hannah was speaking in her heart; only her lips moved, and her voice was not heard; therefore Eli took her to be a drunken woman.”
- Jesus teaches us to pray out loud, “When you pray, say, “Our Father…”
- History of Jewish people praying out loud….
- The Mass… Responsorial psalms
Scripture Helps Teach Us to Pray
- Romans 8:26 –“The Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express”
- Hebrews 5:7 – In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard for his godly fear.
- 1 Peter 5:7 – “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you”
- “It’s fair to say that having a “quiet time” is a misnomer. It’s more of an out loud, ‘noisy” time.’”
- “’Go to your room and shut the door,’ he tells us (Matt. 6:6). If others can’t hear you, you’re more likely to talk straight and you won’t be tempted to mouth prayers fabricated to impress. Jesus sought privacy for himself: ‘He went up on the mountain by himself to pray. He would withdraw to desolate places and pray’ (Matt. 14:23; Luke 5:16). Why? He was talking it out with his Father. But his disciples listened in on some occasions: ‘Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray”’ (Luke 11:1). Something about the candor, focus, directness, and scope of how Jesus sought his Father struck them.”
Two Examples of People Praying Out Loud
- Ushpizin – 59 minute mark – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9aRRc6c0uQk
- Moshe and Mali Bellanga are an impoverished, childless, Hasidic baalei teshuva (“returnees to Judaism”) couple in the Breslov community in Jerusalem. After Moshe is passed over for a stipend he expected, they cannot pay their bills, much less prepare for the upcoming Jewish holiday of Sukkot.
- Moshe admires a particularly beautiful etrog, or citron, one of the four species required for the holiday observance. They console themselves by recalling a saying of Rabbi Nachman of Breslov that difficult times are a test of faith. After some anguished prayer, they receive an unexpected monetary gift on the eve of the holiday and Moshe buys the etrog for 1000 shekels (approx. $300), a large sum of money that is much more than he can afford.
- The couple is visited by a pair of escaped convicts, one of whom knew Moshe in his earlier, non-religious life. The convicts become their guests (ushpizin) in the sukkah, creating many conflicts and straining Moshe and Mali’s relationship.
- Mali’s prayer to God: “I have to tell you, you’re sweet, righteous, beloved. I’m just crazy about you…you did it big time, you gave me another chance. Father, I swear I’ll do anything not to let you down. Anything!”
- A little girl who can’t help but praise the Lord…
- Jennifer Petersons Facebook post about a little girl who is not afraid to praise the Lord vocally.
More Great Resources from Jeff
Find free blogs, videos, and resources about Scripture and the Catholic faith at http://biblestudyforcatholics.com/.
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For an easy way to transform your approach to reading Scripture, check out Jeff’s Bible Timeline Chart.
For an illustrated resource introducing God’s love story to children while helping them to understand how the Catholic Church is the body of Christ on Earth try The Great Adventure Storybook.
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