Have you ever felt awkward when asked to pray aloud in front of a group of others? Or wonder why eloquent prayers seem to flow from everyone else’s mouths but not from yours? Don’t worry, you’re not alone! Fortunately, God doesn’t need eloquent or formulaic prayers. He just wants our hearts and our ears tuned to His voice. Here are five different types of prayer you can try to refresh your joy and revitalize your prayer life. 

The prayer styles we most commonly see in worship services and ministry gatherings are up-front and out loud prayer led by individuals or group prayer huddles. 

Over time, these examples teach us—perhaps unintentionally—that prayer is typically spoken aloud in the midst of other people. I will happily pray along silently as someone else prays audibly, yet I don’t easily pray out loud. Of course I’ve done it, I can do it, and I will do it again.

However, more than once the prompt to “turn to your neighbor, share about xyz, and then pray together” has sent me bolting for the door. 

For me, audible, spontaneous speech about heart matters can feel like an intensely personal public performance. My brain stalls. My tongue ties. I stumble over words. I have to figure out how to be done, and so: Amen.

Gradually, I have learned to let go of what works for others, including approaches prescribed by Christian culture…. I have leaned into the uniqueness God built into me. I have received God’s grace, including the freedom to release shame and embrace prayer styles that connect me with God in soul-nourishing ways.

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