Saturday, June 11, 2016

Why do people SHOUT when praying?!

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I woke in the middle of the night one Friday and heard some church in my new neighbourhood (yeah, we recently moved) praying and shouting (things like "Holy Ghoooooost fireeeee!" over and over); and the thought that hit me was, why do people shout at the top of their voices when praying?

I mean, it's not like you're talking to someone in a crowded noisy place that you need to raise our voices so loud for the person to hear you, right? Neither are you having an argument or shouting match with God that you need to "OUTSHOUT" Him!

God's not deaf, is He? Then why shout at the top of your voice in the name of praying? Or do louder prayers mean God will hear more clearly and answer more speedily? Why then do we fall for the temptation to shout our prayers, especially at vigils?!

How about the Apostles, they prayed and the building shook
"But the Apostles prayed and the place shook?" You may be thinking. Indeed, in Acts 4, the Apostles prayed and "the place where they were assembled together was shaken" (v 31); but do you seriously think it was their voices and shouting that shook the place? How many people do you reckon could shout (even at the top of their voices), so much so that the place would be shaken? Huh?

If you believe that, you'd probably also believe it was the shouting of the Israelites that brought down Jericho's walls! No! It wasn't their mere shouting or loud voices, or the trumpeting either. And in the case of Jesus' disciples, it definitely wasn't their mere voices or shouting - it was the Holy Spirit!

The Holy Spirit brought down the walls of Jericho! He shook the place where the disciples assembled. How do I know this? Acts 4:31 reads... "And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness". The Holy Spirit stormed the place, and the foundation and pillars of the building had to bow to superior authority!

What then is effectual fervent praying
"But Scripture says the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much", you may be thinking also. Yes, it does!
Quick question, though! What constitutes "fervent prayer"? What's "effectual prayer"? Loud? Physically exhausting? Dramatic? Or rather, passionate? Sincere? Heartfelt? Consistent? Persistent? And in obedience to His word?

Jesus, our model of perfect Christian living, would often go away alone into the wilderness to pray and commune with His father (Luke 4:1, Matthew 4:1, Mark 6:46) - do you shout when talking with someone you have a good relationship with as we do with God?!
Hannah too prayed till "only her lips moved, but her voice was not heard" - how? She "spoke in her heart" as she 'poured out her soul before the Lord' (1 Samuel 1: 12-15, please read whole passage) - that was passionate, heartfelt, persistent praying! He (and she) wasn't loud and shouting!

When you pray - in Church, in your closet, anywhere! - pour out your heart to God! Please, resist the urge to shout; or pray loudly!

Go into your room, pray in secret, Jesus instructs
Jesus warned His disciples in Matthew 6 to "not be like the hypocrites... But you (you who has accepted Him as Lord), when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father WHO IS IN THE SECRET PLACE; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly" (v. 5-6).

Think about this: Do you go into your room, and after shutting the door, you start shouting your prayers? Makes no sense, does it?
Also, do you tell a secret shouting it out loud; or tell it almost in a whisper to someone near?

God is nearer than we think! We do not need to shout at the top of their voices for Him to hear us when we pray (That is the aim of the prayer, isn't it? I mean, for God to hear and answer? Except you just want to do physical exercise and stretch your throat! Then keep shouting. But if the aim is for God to hear, there really is no need to shout - whether at Church vigils or anywhere for that matter).

I'd like to know what you think, do you shouting when praying is needed? Does it make prayer more effective? Do share your thoughts in the comments section.


  1. I came to understand that some people just can't pray silently without being distracted and sometimes it is just a behavioural tendency. Nigerians especially when being passionate or agitated tends to shout and they transfer this to prayer especially the one called "warfare prayer".

    Personally I do talk to God as he is just beside me and sometimes I raise my voice to make declarations.

    1. True, bro. A lot of times, the shouting and dramatic displays are just emotional outbursts rather than Spirit led. I agree with you, it makes sense to raise your voice when making declarations and affirmations (but not shouting though); however, declarations and affirmations do not fall under "praying".
      Prayer is us talking to God (and Him responding); it is not directed at the situation, problem, or the devil. Jesus says if you say to the mountain, 'be removed and be cast into the sea' - that is not a prayer, it's a declaration made in faith!
      Ultimately then, we do not need to shout when praying, because you're talking to God, not to anyone, or the problem. Thank you for your comment, sir. God bless.


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