My children are all in school now. For the first time in 14 years, it is possible for me to be at home all by myself. So what am I doing?
Praying. Out loud.
As I've mentioned before, I attend an evangelical (not fundamentalist) seminary, where the majority of my fellow students are African-American and come from traditionally black churches, such as African Methodist Episcopal or National Baptist.
And man, can they pray.
In many of the southern evangelical traditions, this is something you do. You pray, out loud. Often. As the spirit moves you. We often begin and end our classes with prayer. The prayers are rarely perfunctory. Frequently long. Heartfelt.
These are not prayers carefully lined out ahead of time, words carefully chosen. No. These come from the heart and with enthusiasm. With confidence. With spirit. With, I dare say, soul.
And with sincerity.
There is a skill and a passion involved. I am occasionally called upon to give the prayer, and I wanted to feel more comfortable in amongst these Prayer Rock Stars.
So I have begun praying at home. Out loud. Not scripted out beforehand.
When we pray silently, we have the use of a mental backspace key. We go back and rephrase things in our mind. Praying out loud, there is no backspace key.
I have heard the joke/statement of fact that introverts need to think before they speak; extroverts need to speak to know what they think. Occasionally guilty, your honor.
Praying out loud, extemporaneously, I have discovered concerns and gratitude spilling from my mouth that I hadn't even been thinking about. After I said "Amen," I thought ... Oh. So that's what I was carrying around.
I felt the Spirit.