Taking It To The Next Level
I shared with you that had I been in a Sunday school class where I was asked to pray out loud or read aloud I would have left and not come back! I still felt that way when God laid on my heart to start a Sunday school class. Mike and I had joined a class in Greensboro when we were first married and it was fun. They became our good friends. So when we moved home and there was not a class for our age I decided to start one. That class was called, "Friends" - the show had just come out and we all laughed about when we got old what would we call it? Old Friends! The Saturday night before the first Sunday I panicked. Who was going to open with prayer? I had a discussion type lesson so everyone would be talking. It had to be me - most of the people invited had never been to SS as an adult. I survived and that prayer was short and simple. I started a ladies "circle" at my church called the Faith circle and I panicked about that. I found myself having to pray for different things I was in. That was the first of three SS classes I started and each time got easier. As I said about prayer, "the best way to learn to pray is....to pray." The best way to learn to pray out loud is to....pray out loud!
Unless you intend to pray, you likely never will. Ask for God's help. When you know you will have an opportunity to lead others in prayer, pray ahead of time that God would give you the ability to do it clearly and helpfully. So you are thinking I do not teach Sunday school, I am not a pastor. I don't have to pray out loud. If you are a pastor or an elder, you are called to pray aloud with your church. Acts 6: 4, "and will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the word." If you are a mother or a father, you are called to pray aloud with your children. Deuteronomy 6: 6-7, "These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up." If you are a child, you are called to pray aloud with your friends. Psalm 8: 2, "Through the praise of children and infants you have established a stronghold against your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger."
Matthew 21: 15-16, "But when the chief priests and the teachers of the law saw the wonderful things he did and the children shouting in the temple courts, “Hosanna to the Son of David,” they were indignant. 'Do you hear what these children are saying?” they asked him. 'Yes,' replied Jesus, 'have you never read, ‘From the lips of children and infants you, Lord, have called forth your praise.’" If you are a member of Christ’s church, there will come a time when you will be called to pray aloud with a hurting brother or sister. James 5: 16, "Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective."
When you are praying with others it is called corporate prayer. In corporate prayer, we have the assurance of Christ's presence. Matthew 18: 20, "For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” He also promises intercession, which is, praying on behalf of someone else. That means when we cannot pray or do not know what to pray for, He will pray for us. Hebrews 7: 25, "Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them." As a Christian, we never, ever pray alone!
When you pray for a group, your task is to express the desire of everyone in the room to God. The person praying out loud is the mouthpiece for the others. He is to bring everyone's hearts together to the Throne of God. Acts 4: 24, "When they heard this, they raised their voices together in prayer to God. 'Sovereign Lord,' they said, 'you made the heavens and the earth and the sea, and everything in them.'" The early church all prayed together with one accord. From the "Heavenly Father" to the conclusion, "in Jesus's name, amen."
The best way to learn to pray out loud....is to pray out loud!