I've wanted to write this article for a while now.
My reason for delay? Insecurity.
Insecure in my "ability" to pray out loud. Anxious feelings of how it would be received (more on this later).
However, as Men, we are to continually aim to be more like Jesus (John 15:12). As Husbands, we are to be the spiritual leaders of our marriage (Ephesians 5:22-23). As Fathers, we bear a profound responsibility for the spiritual development of our children, to guide their path and nurture their souls (Ephesians 6:4).
And one of the most empowering tools in which to accomplish these?
Praying out loud.
Praying out loud is powerful! It's a chance to outwardly show your inner relationship with God and interject his name daily.
While that sounds great and all, here are the continual thoughts that occupy my mind while praying out loud:
Am I saying the right words?
Am I using enough Christian or Biblical words or verses?
Am I praying long enough?
Did I cover all I should have?
I feel like I'm rambling too much.
I don't feel like I'm saying enough.
Recently however, I realized I'm not alone.
I recently vocalized this at a men's event my church put on. At the small table of 6 men, half felt the same way.
While it was a small sample size, it hit my heart hard enough.
This is why I am finally writing this article. To Encourage Men, Husbands, and Fathers to utilize one of the most powerful tools the Lord has given us, to pray out loud.
This article talks through overcoming insecurities of praying out loud, how to utilize the Bible to help you pray, and ends with simple prayer examples as a Man, Husband, and Father to get you started.
Overcoming Insecurities: Practicing Grace and Persistence
As I mentioned above, there are many thoughts that race through my head as I pray aloud.
Whether in front of my wife and children, a men's group, or any other group of people, anxiety can easily build.
So how do I overcome this?
When learning anything new, you accept your vulnerability in the subject and push onward.
However, the main difference in praying out loud for the first time vs. learning anything else?
Prayer is simply talking to God, a personal conversation. What matters most is the sincerity of our heart. The Lord knows our pure intentions no matter the verbiage and is abundant in grace.
Additionally, if you are praying out loud, it is most likely around friends, family, or other believers. While this could be seen as intimidating, perhaps someone listening knows more scripture than you (yes, this is a legitimate thought that leads to anxiety) let this instead be a comfort, knowing they too understand and pour out grace.
Start small, perhaps with the prayers at the end of the article. Prayers don't need to be exhaustive or have any specific words.
Whatever you choose, be persistent in your practice. Like any craft, you must work at it with patience and grace until you find your rhythm, comfort, and ultimately the relief of your anxiety.
Utilizing the Bible as a Resource
Unsure of what to say and where to start? Look directly to God's word.
The Bible provides examples of prayer, but more specifically, many accounts of struggles of which one may be similar to yours. Look up verses that specifically relate to your reason for praying.
Not sure where to find verses relating to why you are praying?
Google is your best friend!
If praying for wisdom, Google: "Bible verses on wisdom"
Proverbs 3:5-6 will come up: "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding; think about Him in all your ways, and He will guide you on the right paths."
Your prayer can then be: "Lord allow me to trust you with all my heart. Do not let my earthly flesh direct my thoughts and actions. Please grant me the wisdom to walk the path you have laid out for me."
No matter your struggle, fear, worry, love, peace, joy, or whatever led you to pray, the Bible can help get you started.
For those that wish to pray exactly as Jesus instructed, in Matthew 6:9-13 Jesus gives us the Lord's Prayer:
"Therefore, you should pray like this: Our Father in heaven, Your name be honored as holy. Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And do not bring us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen."
Prayer Ideas for Men, Husbands, and Fathers
As a kid, I grew up in the Catholic Church. One comforting aspect of that upbringing was that all prayers are already written and I simply had to memorize them. While that doesn't lead to confidence in one's own ability to pray personal prayers out loud, memorization is a great place to start.
Below are a few examples of prayers specific to each aspect of life as a Man, Husband, and Father. Use these examples if you do not know where to start. After saying them a few times, begin to interject your own thoughts and morph them into your own personal conversation with God.
As a Man
Prayer for Integrity:
"Lord, help me to live with integrity. Grant me the strength to continually do as I say, resist temptation, and make choices that align with Your will. Direct my thoughts, words, and actions so that others may see You in me."
Prayer for Strength and Guidance:
"Dear God, I humbly ask for your strength and guidance as I navigate the challenges and responsibilities of manhood. Grant me wisdom to make sound decisions, courage to face adversity, and compassion to serve others selflessly."
As a Husband
Prayer for Continual Growth:
"Father, I thank You for the gift of my spouse. Please bless our marriage with unwavering love and understanding. Help us to grow closer to each other and to You each day. Grant us the wisdom to prioritize our relationship and invest in its strength. May our marriage be a reflection of Your love to the world."
Prayer for Leadership:
"Dear God, today I seek Your guidance and wisdom as I lead my marriage. You have entrusted me with the responsibility of being a husband, and I recognize the significance of this role. Lord, I ask for Your strength and grace to fulfill my calling with humility and love."
As a Father:
Prayer for Children's Spiritual Growth:
"Lord, I lift up my children to You. Please guide their hearts and draw them close to you at a young age. Grant them the desire to know You and seek Your wisdom. Lord, give me the knowledge, persistence, and patience required to fulfill this role in which you have entrusted me."
Prayer for Patience and Wisdom:
"Lord, grant me wisdom and patience daily as I raise my children. Open my eyes to their unique personalities and subsequent needs. Give me the discernment to make decisions that will positively shape their character and lead them towards you. Strengthen me to be a compassionate and loving father in all circumstances."
Prayer is powerful.
Overcoming insecurities is tough.
Give yourself grace and understand that grace will be given to you.
Start short, utilize the Bible, Google verses or prayers, or use one of the prayers above. However you choose to pray, pray, and let your children hear you.
Be Present. Be Intentional.
- Chad Vrla
ps. If you would like to learn more about Christianity, see our Men's Resource: Grow In Faith. Additionally, if you would like to speak to someone directly, have questions in regards to faith, or simply have a prayer request, please send us a message on our Connect With Us page.
If you would like to support The Intentional Father's Mission, we have recently released a few items specifically designed for fathers as continuous reminders to Be Present and Intentional in their children's lives.