Someone asked this recently: “Why do Christians Pray Out Loud When Jesus in the bible said: ‘Pray in the closet’?”
To answer this directly, let’s take a look at the bible verse where Jesus said for us to “pray in the closet”.
“And when you come before God, don’t turn that into a theatrical production either. All these people making a regular show out of their prayers, hoping for stardom! Do you think God sits in a box seat? “Here’s what I want you to do: Find a quiet, secluded place so you won’t be tempted to role-play before God. Just be there as simply and honestly as you can manage. The focus will shift from you to God, and you will begin to sense his grace….” – Matthew 6:5-6 (MSG)
Looking at this verse in context, we understand there’s a background. Jesus was speaking here against hypocrisy. He spoke against the Pharisees who made a show of their prayers. Instead of praying as though it were a performance, He admonished that we pray in quiet places (closets) where we would not be tempted to role-play before God.
His emphasis here wasn’t on the “volume” of the prayer but rather on the heart. To further buttress this, we know that in His time, Jesus prayed both in private (Matthew 14:23, Mark 1:35) and in public (Matthew 14:19, John 17). Hence, He couldn’t have meant “Do not pray in public”.
Again, we know that Jesus prayed both quiet and loud prayers. Hence, He couldn’t have meant “Do not pray out loud”. What is important to note in this Bible text is the heart behind your prayers.Prayers to God should be done with sincerity and focus and not as a show/performance to be seen by others. Click To Tweet
Also, someone may ask: But God can read our minds, why do we have to be loud or audible?
– It is easier for you to stay engaged during prayers when you are audible
To be honest, there is nothing wrong with silent prayers so long as you are focused and concentrating. However, you would notice that it is easier for you to stay engaged during prayers when you are audible than when you are muttering the words. Many people fall asleep when they pray under their breath (Of which, I am chief!) Looool! What works for me is to pray out loud so that I am better engaged.You would notice that it is easier for you to stay engaged during prayers when you are audible than when you are muttering the words. Many people fall asleep when they pray under their breath. Click To Tweet
– Secondly, prayer is supposed to be heartfelt and fervent.
James 5:16b says: “The heartfelt and persistent prayer of a righteous man (believer) can accomplish much [when put into action and made effective by God—it is dynamic and can have tremendous power].
This means you have to be wholly invested and passionate in the prayers. Knowing, you’re not just praying to pass time or to mark heaven’s register that you’ve prayed. Passion is all consuming, it’s like a football fan when his team is playing. When his team wins, he responds passionately, he doesn’t whisper “Goalllll”. Instead, he shouts for joy and screams in excitement, it’s the same thing.
God hears us whether we pray out loud or quietly but what's more important than the volume of your prayers is the heart behind the prayer. Click To Tweet
– When God’s desires become yours in the place of prayer, your emotions reflect this.
Our Lord and example, Jesus prayed one time so earnestly that his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground. He wasn’t acting drama, he was praying earnestly. Jesus was the son of God, He knew God loved Him, He knew God heard Him even before He prayed (John 11:41-42) yet He prayed so earnestly.
In conclusion, we ought to learn from the example of Jesus. God hears us whether we pray out loud or quietly but what’s more important than the volume of your prayers is the heart behind the prayer. Also, prayer should be heartfelt, sincere and fervent.Jesus prayed both in private and in public. Hence, He couldn't have meant 'Do not pray in public'. Again, Jesus prayed both quiet and loud prayers. Hence, He couldn't have meant 'Do not pray out loud'. Click To Tweet