Are you comfortable praying aloud in public? If you are, good for you! I have a confession: praying aloud is uncomfortable for me. I just don’t know what to say.

Yet I believe in the power of prayer, and we are told to “Pray for the sick.” (James 5:14.)

So when I pray for someone in public, here’s what I do.

  1. First, I ask the person, “Would you like me to pray for you?” or “May I say a short prayer for you?”
  2. And then, I ask: “What issue(s) are you struggling with right now? (Do not assume that you know what the important issues are in the person’s life.)
  3. If it seems appropriate, I hold the person’s hand, and including their name, I say a brief prayer. No need to keep “going around the block,” just to fill up the prayer time.

Here is an example:

Dear Loving God,

“Thank you for promising to be with us in the good times and in the difficult times.  Marie has said that she needs patience—patience when she rings for the nurses—patience with an always-talking roommate—patience when her physical therapist seems so cranky.  Please help Marie develop patience.  Thank you, God, for hearing and responding to our prayers.  Amen”

By praying with another person, we acknowledge the presence and power of God. And we show our friend how much we care.

I am uncomfortable praying aloud in public.  But I can pray in public to help a suffering friend.

For further reading on the topic of prayer see our Prayer Archives.

Watch Karen’s Video on This Topic


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