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Dead Man Walking: Why Pray Out Loud?

by in Soul Food

"So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, 'Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.' " (John 11:41-42)

Why do we pray out loud? After all, it makes some of us really uncomfortable to pray in front of each other. And it makes others of us really bored to listen to each other pray. Why do it? Isn't God famous for knowing our thoughts, and aren't we famous for believing that He hears our thoughts?

I think Jesus reveals one of the benefits of praying out loud in front of each other in today's verses. He says clearly that His vocalized prayer of thanks was for the benefit of those listening. He wanted to leave no room for doubt that the giant miracle they were about to witness came from the God of the universe -- that He was God's Son.

In a similar way, when I ask God for help with something right out loud in front of you, you're much more likely to give God the credit when that good thing happens. Vocalizing our prayers and thanksgiving in front of each other is another way to remind each other how huge and powerful our God really is.

Think: Are you hesitant to pray in front of other people? Do you know why? What can you do to start to overcome that timidity?

Pray: Thank God that He doesn't need you to pray out loud in order to hear your prayers, and ask Him to help you to become comfortable talking to Him in front of others sometimes for their benefit and His glory.

Do: Make a point to pray out loud with at least one other person this week. (It can even be your mom!)

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