Why Pray Out Loud?

“To the LORD I cry aloud, and he answers me.”
(Psalms 3:4)

What’s the point of praying out loud?

God already knows your thoughts, right?


I’m a witness:  Silent prayer works.

There are lots of good reasons not to go verbal with your prayers.  For example, you might get the urge to pray in a public place and not want the other people in the restaurant to think you need psychiatric help.

Or you might be deep in discussion with your precious wife and suddenly need to ask God’s help so you don’t go off on her.  Stuff like that.

So why pray out loud?

Because there’s something about it that kicks your prayer life up a notch.

I’m not kidding.

Is this just my opinion?


But what if it isn’t?  What if there’s actually some kind of extra “oomph” that happens?  What if praying out loud triggers an inexplicable upsurge in power?  What if it lifts your prayer life into a whole ‘nuther dimension?

You’re skeptical.

So was I.  Just not my cup of tea, you know?

But my 82 year-old dad is the one that wouldn’t let it rest.

“Pray out loud, Steve!” he’d tell me.

So, out of my immense respect for his lifetime of wholehearted service to God, I did.

Aw, man.

He was right.

But don’t take my word for it.  Do what I did and run an experiment:

1. Go to today’s Lazaroo (or try this one, if you like).
2. First, read the Scripture and pray the prayer silently.
3. Do the same thing again – only this time, read the verse and pray the prayer out loud.

But whatever you do, remember the Lazaroo principle:  Be sure to give it all you’ve got both times. Pray it with a razor-sharp focus on the meaning of every word you’re speaking.  Pour it out of the very depths of your soul.


Do you feel the difference?

Me too.

Or maybe you didn’t.

Maybe it’s just me.  And my dad.

Share your observations in the Comment section below.  I’d really like to know how this experiment went down for you.

So, I imagine, would the rest of our growing Lazaroo community.
Psalms 139:4; Matthew 9:4; Luke 9:47; Psalms 3:4; Psalms 26:6-7; Psalms 81:1; Psalms 95:1; Psalms 142:1-11; Proverbs 2:3-5; Isaiah 12:6; Zephaniah 3:14-15; Romans 10:17; 1 Thessalonians 5:21; Revelation 3:15-16

What is Lazaroo?

Take Me Deeper

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. NIV®. Copyright© 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

22 responses so far.

  1. Nwachukwu Says:

    Jesus offered up prayers to God with loud cries
    Paul and Silas prayed and sang at midnight and the prison inmates heard them(listened)
    Jesus prayed in john17 and the desciples heard the contents of his prayer and wrote them down for us
    Peter James and John heard Jesus pray in Gethsemane even when he left them behind and went yonder to pray. If he didn’t pray out loud, they wouldn’t have heard what he said and wrote then down for us
    Mathew26:36-40. Etc.

  2. shannon Says:

    Thank you for this. I love learning from whomever, for whatever is good. Praying aloud has been one of the most rewarding, beautiful experiences. It helped save me. Although I agree with your statement that you can’t do it at a restaurant or a place like that. Whereever you’re comfortable and is socially acceptable, is my cautions to give anyone. God is the answer to happiness.much love! Add me on Twitter: shanheaven, IG: shanheavin. Peace

  3. shannon Says:

    Thank you for this. I love learning from whomever, for whatever is good. Praying aloud has been one of the most rewarding, beautiful experiences. It helped save me. Although I agree with your statement that you can’t do it at a restaurant or a place like that. Whereever you’re comfortable and is socially acceotable, is my cautions to give anyone. God is the answer to happiness.much love! Add me on Twitter: shanheaven, IG: shanheavin. Peace

  4. sheila Says:

    I love reading all of this but, my husband is pushing for me and my daughter to start praying out loud. I asked him if there is scripture saying we HAVE to pray out loud for any reason. If it says that we have to, then I will be obedient. But as of yet, he hasn’t showed me any script and all I can find is forums like .this with mans ideas of how we should pray. I want scripture telling me I have to pray out loud.

  5. Jackie Says:

    I have never been able to pray out loud in a group. I have always told myself that the reason for this is that I want to be completely sincere when I talk to God and if other people are listening I will be more focused on what they are hearing, not what God is hearing. Not that I’m worried someone will go home and say, “that women does not know how to pray.” I’m not worried what they think about me (I tell myself). How do I get around this. How do I pray in a group? Can someone give me another way of looking at this. If I understand the reason God would want me to pray out loud in a group of people, even though I stutter and stumble and sound dumb and unprepared.

  6. Frank Boateng Agyarkwa, Accra, ghana Says:

    Either you pray out loud or you whisper in silence what matters is the state of the heart. Period. God does not judge us or condemn us because we are praying out loud. What God despises is hypocrisy and faking out. We must use common sense and discernment though as when to pray and when not to pray loud

  7. Devin Says:

    1 Corinthians 14:16 For if you praise God only in the spirit, how can those who don’t understand you praise God along with you? How can they join you in giving thanks when they don’t understand what you are saying?

  8. Jesus says, Says:

    Many have an opinion but no scriptures for confirmation, how very sad. I must say, thats exactly whats expected of typical amercian born and raised gentile, heathen, pagans. Jesus kept it short, sweet and simple according to the apostle Matthew. He first taught everyone precisely how to pray and then precisely how not to pray. Matthew 6 says, when you pray, find a place to pray in secret (in other words, where no one is around to hear) where only God hears, and he will reward you openly. No where in the scriptures did Jesus ever teach anyone to pray out loud, atleast with other people around that could hear. Praying out loud is okay as long as no one can hear. Jesus didn’t say to pray quitely but instead secretly. However, what typical amercian born and raised gentile, heathen, pagan who can’t hold water so to speak, ever understand the simple and true meaning to the word SECRET?
    Jesus also under the same breath followed up with teaching how not to pray. He basically said not to pray standing in the churches (or anywhere whatsoever) to be seen and or heard, using many words, much speaking and or repetitous phrases. He said these would THINK that God would hear, but the truth is clear that God would not hear nor answer.
    Just obey Jesus and keep is simple by Praying in Secret where no one is capable of hearing and Praise whether anyone is around or not.
    Not one persons opinion or any other scripture can contradict what Jesus said to do or not to do when it comes to prayer, and thats it in a nutshell, so hang your hat on it, believe and obey it, and ignor any and all hogwash opinions, because Jesus told us what we would do and think would be oposite of what was right.

  9. Suze Says:

    Praying is the same as breathing to me. Being in an oppressive, emotionally painful situation. Many times I can only push thro. the pain by paying in the spirit…usually loud-and with attitude ! ‘All kinds of prayer’ …whatever the situation requires.
    I know God respects this reaching out to Him,as those are the noticable times I regain His peace and joy….and know He is sustaining me.
    Generally tho. I chat away about all issues and people as only He totally understands. Hope this helps you who struggle with prayer. x

  10. Sherry Says:

    I’m a bit of an introvert and even when I’m alone, I pray silently in my head. The last few days I started trying to say my prayers out loud. It was awkward and very quiet, almost a whisper, but I was amazed that they seemed to be answered very quickly. That’s why I decided to look online and see if anyone else had discovered this. I was working last night and couldn’t seem to generate much interest. So I prayed quietly out loud to God to please send someone who would want what I was offering. (face painting & balloons for a kids night) 2 children who previously wouldn’t even look my way, finally did and I offered them free balloons. After accepting what I offered they opened up so happily to me and came back repeatedly, so I got busy. This is good, because I want the restaurant to keep hiring me to come back. 🙂

  11. Trevis Says:

    Ok but i think somewhere in the bible they are verses when it is said pray in your room privately me i fill distracted especially in a church when someone is praying out loud and im trying to pray too

  12. Alicia Says:

    I’m actually a baby Christian and was actually surprised to find even lifelong Christians have trouble with praying out loud in a group. I have learned to push past it, to not give much thought to whether I’m praying right or not. God just wants us to talk to Him. And there is nothing quite as touching as a prayer circle full of people speaking their hearts. I think it is one of the most powerful forms of prayer!

  13. moses Says:

    Its good to have an opinion-you were created a lesser god and must have one-but we define what is right by what God says.To pray aloud literally weakens Satan’s resolve to corrupt our spiritual life.God speaks everything-none was made that was not spoken.out of the mouth issues forth what is in the heart-and you cannot go around it!What is spoken influences even what the heart will stand for.Take an example the national; pledge-we speak it loud and it reinforces us-what about victory chants eg.in a hockey game-it revs us up and establishes our beleif.To assume it isn’t so with prayer is to be ignorant and hubber pride.God does not tell us to pray around for His sakes but for our own-knowing there are spiritual forces listening in.Satan cannot read your thoughts but can hear your words and it scares him to death-your faith.That means as you pray you don pray to theopinion or admiration of men around you but to God and as well as enstate your spiritual acumen and authority to the evil spirit realm.its been known its harder to sin deliberately against God once you have a relationship of speaking to Him-for you feel a betrayer and ashamed of letting down your word-you are your word and no more.We fight demons daily-Paul warned don be ignorant of that-and most of you could have thwarted Satan’s plans in your life if only you vocalized your faith-Jesus did in the desert-and Satan also attacks us.Don tell me God watches him at all times for you-No!God has given you ability and a brain and His will in the Bible-your work is to use it to protect self as God would protect you.Don be ashamed of God before this ugly adulterous generation for He will be ashamed of you before His crisp sublime Holy perfect angels.God bless and pour your heart aloud to God not complaining/glumbling about your predicament but speaking/asserting back his word to Him to change your situation.Let your words meet His.

  14. Tina Says:

    I guess for me praying out loud is something I truely want, I just can’t get myself to do it. I know I can. I pray to God out loud alone all the time. But when It comes to praying out around others or my boyfriend, I freak. Help? How do I overcome this?!

  15. Sue Says:

    I recently had a discussion about whether or not Satan can hear our prayers uttered to God silently or only the ones we say aloud. I thought it was the latter but was told there is not scriptural basis for this assumption. Not sure where I heard it. I agree with all the reasons for praying aloud above but is there any reason we should pray aloud to God to rebuke Satan?

  16. Gary Weerts Says:

    Yes,there is a big difference in praying out loud.It brings life into the prayer.Perhaps for those of us who pray in tongues and the day of pentecost would confirm the joy’s of praying out loud.

  17. Steve Says:

    What a beautiful witness to answered prayer, Abby. God may well have answered your silent prayer. On the other hand, my guess is the many of us who have fought sleep while driving can wholeheartedly agree that at such times a bold, out-loud cry to God is by far the prayer of choice!

  18. Abby Says:

    I feel like God showed me the power of praying out loud this week. As I was driving home from Lexington in the pouring rain, in the dark, at night I was so tired my eyelids were literally fluttering to stay open. I prayed aloud to God to help give me the strength to stay awake and alert to make it these next to hours and I felt refreshed the moment I said Amen. My eyes never again fluttered and I was alert the whole drive home. God was in control, watching over and protecting me that night. I believe that the power of my prayer came from my plea of praying it aloud to Him, so I learned a valuable lesson this week.

  19. Steve Says:

    Hey, James – I hear you! My own observation is it’s just harder for non-verbal people to pray out loud. For others, the out-loud hang-up comes when other people are around. They’re so aware that their words are being monitored by others that they can’t offer a sincere, out-loud prayer to save their lives.

    A lot of people unintentionally abuse praying out loud, because without realizing it, most of their out-loud praying is for the benefit of the people who are listening in, rather than God. It’s very hard NOT to think of the people who are listening in. If you forget about them…you might accidentally say something you might have been wiser to keep to yourself! 🙂

    Very few people can pray out loud in the presence of others without polluting it at least somewhat – slipping in a little preaching, tossing in a dash of manipulation and topping it all off with a generous helping of showmanship. Scary stuff. Like most people who frequently pray out loud with other people present, to my shame, I battle all of that.

    For me, at least, the best, truest, purest form of audible prayer is when I’m alone – just God and me. In addition to the Scriptural benefits already listed, another benefit is that it tends to keep me focused better than silent prayer.

    For the simple servant of God, though, all it takes is seeing that God wants me to pray out loud (whenever it is appropriate). I don’t have to understand it. I don’t even have to notice any benefit. The pure joy of knowing I’m obeying my LORD and my God is all the reward such a person needs.

  20. James Says:

    Heres a question ? I don’t want to make anyone feel condemed, but for me praying out loud is like talking to God and building a relationship with him. The bible says let your request be known to God and Faith comes by hearing and hearing the word of God. I am wanting some advice on approaching someone who doesn’t pray out loud

  21. Steve Says:

    Excellent, in-depth thinking, Diane. You truly took this discussion farther than I left it. This is even more to chew on.

  22. Diane Says:

    Well it does say that the power of life and death are in the tongue, so we must be able to vocalise things for a reason, both spiritual and humanly. We are able to say things about ourselves and other people that can change how we feel about them, and that can have such an effect that we, or they, start living like they believe it, and it can become reality. Just ask anyone who grew up in a loveless environment.

    Why shouldn’t the same apply to prayer? I’m not talking about screaming one out, but if “we believe in our heart and confess with our lips that Jesus Christ is Lord” for salvation, why stop there? Why let that be the last thing we pray out loud? Confession, and letting the words of the heart connect with the words of our mouth is extremely powerful.

    Just a thought. 🙂

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