Could a Timbit help a person pray out loud?
The idea of praying out loud can be a challenge. Sometimes I worry that my words won’t be the right ones. I think my voice sounds funny or that I’m not as spiritual or ‘prayer worthy’ as someone else. Sometimes I have the wrong view of God, have a selfish attitude, or have done wrong things. These are things I can admit to God as I start to pray. I know that Jesus teaches his disciples to pray in secrecy, with the door closed, but there are also many examples of praying in groups in the Bible. So what can a person do to grow in prayer?
I recently participated in Emmanuel’s Jr High group event called the Timbit Prayer Tour. Kaeli, one of our youth leaders, gave a short and energetic talk about the importance of prayer. She compared it to the life-giving connecting hose between a scuba diver and their air tank. Communicating with God in prayer is an important way that we stay connected to Him. We heard about the vine and the branches from John 15 and then Kaeli encouraged us to bravely grow in prayer. After the talk, we divided up into groups and went around Steinbach with a list of people to pray for and two 10-packs of Timbits per car. The circles of dough were meant for encouraging some people as we prayed in the community. The guys in my van were amazing! They were so willing to pray for people!
At the right time, we all met back at the Shack for Timbits of our own. We also took some time for students to share about the people they met and the praying they were able to do. Several kids said that it was the first time they prayed out loud in a group. It was a fun, stretching event!
How about you? Would you like to grow in confidence praying out loud?
Here are some things from Kaeli and I that you can try:
Start with a simple “Hello.” It’s how most conversations start! Just speak plainly and honestly to God.
Also, focus on the love God has for you and others. He wants to hear from you! You are secure in His love, so praying is not a performance. Don’t try to impress anyone else who might be listening. As you grow in your trust in God’s love for you, you might find that your worries about what others think about your praying will shrink. When God’s love for others really grips us it makes us brave and guides our prayers.
Pausing is fine. You don’t have to rush. Silence is part of prayer. It’s good to relax and listen to God too.
Notes are okay! Write out some things you want to pray about and then pray them out loud. Having a list to remind you what to say is a good idea! Journaling or drawing, while you pray, can also be helpful for some.
Practice! If you say “um” a lot or feel like you “made a mistake” just keep going. As you continue to have conversations with God, you will become more comfortable talking with Him. At first, it might be easiest for you to pray with a family member or a close friend. As you get more comfortable you will be able to pray with – and for– more and more people!
What are you learning about praying aloud?
I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame. This poor man called, and the Lord heard him; he saved him out of all his troubles
Psalm 34:4-6 NIV