In a previous post, I taught that praying with your hands lifted up is more powerful. I realize that this is controversial, but I am going to teach and practice what the Bible says, not what's popular.
So today I'd like to ask another question. Does it make a difference if we cry out to God loudly or if we simply pray softly? Many would say it makes no difference at all. Some feel they can pray just as powerfully when they pray silently. Some say it is just a cultural thing, and that it doesn't matter to God. Others say it depends on your temperament, and that we all have our own preferred style of prayer that we are comfortable with. But I would like to show you what the Bible says about this.
First of all, the Bible is full of examples of people praying loudly, as well as exhortations inspired by the Holy Spirit that instruct us to pray this way.
Brother Yong-Doo Kim, of The Lord's Church in Incheon, South Korea, says, "Jesus told me go to all nations to explain loud prayer...We, the Lord’s Church, pray with very loud music and very loud prayer...We need to pray loudly to experience Heaven and hell...But we also need to discipline and train our body...Cry out loud! Make sure your voice gets stronger...The louder it is, the more (is) your spiritual force...In these days more prayer is needed. Loud prayer with both hands in air."
I cry aloud with my voice to the LORD; I make supplication with my voice to the LORD. (Psa 142:1)
I cried out to You, O LORD; I said, "You are my refuge, My portion in the land of the living. "Give heed to my cry, For I am brought very low; Deliver me from my persecutors, For they are too strong for me. (Psa 142:5-6)
Hear my prayer, O LORD, Give ear to my supplications! Answer me in Your faithfulness, in Your righteousness! (Psa 143:1)
For if you cry for discernment, Lift your voice for understanding; (Pro 2:3)
Then Jonah prayed to the LORD his God from the stomach of the fish, and he said, "I called out of my distress to the LORD, And He answered me. I cried for help from the depth of Sheol; You heard my voice. (Jon 2:1-2)
"Then you will call, and the LORD will answer; You will cry, and He will say, 'Here I am.' If you remove the yoke from your midst, The pointing of the finger and speaking wickedness, (Isa 58:9)
I rise before dawn and cry for help; I wait for Your words. (Psa 119:147)
But I, O LORD, have cried out to You for help, And in the morning my prayer comes before You. (Psa 88:13)
As for me, I said in my alarm, "I am cut off from before Your eyes"; Nevertheless You heard the voice of my supplications When I cried to You. (Psa 31:22)
O LORD my God, I cried to You for help, and You healed me. (Psa 30:2)
Hear the voice of my supplications when I cry to You for help, When I lift up my hands toward Your holy sanctuary. (Psa 28:2)
In my distress I called upon the LORD, And cried to my God for help; He heard my voice out of His temple, And my cry for help before Him came into His ears. (Psa 18:6)
Heed the sound of my cry for help, my King and my God, For to You I pray. (Psa 5:2)
A Prayer of the Afflicted when he is faint and pours out his complaint before the LORD. Hear my prayer, O LORD! And let my cry for help come to You. (Psa 102:1)
Brother Kim says, "Sometimes a contemplative prayer is required, but when the person praying is dynamic, strong, and active, the Lord will powerfully work in us. The Lord often shouts to us, 'If you powerfully pray with a mind of a warrior, rather than in a contemplative way, I will become exclusive in your life!' The type of prayer that will make the Lord exclusive to us! The type of prayer in which forceful people can take the Holy treasures from heaven. The prayer that shouts in tongues all throughout the night with passion, which never wearies and perseveres. In heaven, there are many treasures a forceful people can take."
Even Jesus Christ prayed like this!
About the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, "ELI, ELI, LAMA SABACHTHANI?" that is, "MY GOD, MY GOD, WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME?"...And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit. (Mat 27:46,50). Someone may say that the only reason he prayed loudly was because of the pain. Actually, when you are on your last breath, crying loudly does not come naturally, especially after hanging on a cross for six hours with your arms lifted up. In fact, Jesus prayed loudly on other occasions, as well, such as when He raised Lazarus from the dead.
When He had said these things, He cried out with a loud voice, "Lazarus, come forth." The man who had died came forth, bound hand and foot with wrappings, and his face was wrapped around with a cloth. Jesus *said to them, "Unbind him, and let him go." (Joh 11:43-44)
The apostles and early disciples raised their voices to God this way:
And when they heard this, they lifted their voices to God with one accord and said, "O Lord, it is You who MADE THE HEAVEN AND THE EARTH AND THE SEA, AND ALL THAT IS IN THEM...And when they had prayed, the place where they had gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak the word of God with boldness. (Act 4:24,31)
Then falling on his knees, he cried out with a loud voice, "Lord, do not hold this sin against them!" Having said this, he fell asleep. (Act 7:60)
At Lystra a man was sitting who had no strength in his feet, lame from his mother's womb, who had never walked. This man was listening to Paul as he spoke, who, when he had fixed his gaze on him and had seen that he had faith to be made well, said with a loud voice, "Stand upright on your feet." And he leaped up and began to walk. (Act 14:8-10)
There is a Greek word, κραυγή (krauge) found in the New Testament. It means "an outcry (in notification, tumult or grief): - clamour, cry (-ing)." -- Strongs. Most people know how to yell at someone when they are angry, and have no problem doing so. But they don't believe in making a loud clamor in prayer. Yet this is exactly what Jesus did.
"In the days of His flesh, He offered up both prayers and supplications with loud crying and tears to the One able to save Him from death, and He was heard because of His piety." (Heb 5:7). Where it says, his prayers and supplications were with "loud crying," it means "loud clamor" or yelling. That's a holy clamor, which the Lord says we should make.
On the other hand, we must put away the sinful kind of clamor, which is yelling at other people, usually done in anger. As Paul said, "Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice." (Eph 4:31)
Just as God's Word teaches us to pray loudly, there is a strong, biblical basis for speaking with a loud voice, as well. When you proclaim God's Word or read it, lift up your voice and call it out. When you say, "Amen" or "Hallelujah," shout it loudly!! Brother Kim says, "If you speak loudly, you will have more power, and if you live a holy life."
After all, our Lord Jesus often speaks with a loud voice. The apostle John described Jesus voice that way when he wrote, "I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like the sound of a trumpet..." (Rev 1:10). He went on to say, "...His feet shone like brass that has been refined and polished, and his voice sounded like a roaring waterfall." (Rev 1:15, GNB)
Likewise, in heaven they cry with a loud voice. "When the Lamb broke the fifth seal, I saw underneath the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God, and because of the testimony which they had maintained; and they cried out with a loud voice, saying, 'How long, O Lord, holy and true, will You refrain from judging and avenging our blood on those who dwell on the earth?' And there was given to each of them a white robe; and they were told that they should rest for a little while longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brethren who were to be killed even as they had been, would be completed also." (Rev 6:9-11) In fact, all throughout the book of Revelation, a total of twenty-one times, it is recorded that John heard loud voices in heaven (Rev. 1:10, 15; 5:2,12; 6:1, 10; 7:2,10; 8:13; 10:3; 11:12,15; 12:10; 14:2,7,9,15,18; 16:1,17; 18:2; 19:1,6,17; 21:3). I strongly encourage you to look up each of these verses, and see for yourself.
The prophet Isaiah wrote, "A voice says, 'Cry!' And I said, 'What shall I cry?' All flesh is grass, and all its beauty is like the flower of the field." (Isa 40:6)
The same can be said for our praise as we have just said about prayer, proclamation, and declaration. We could cite scores of Scriptures about this, but the following ones will suffice:
Clap your hands for joy, all peoples! Praise God with loud songs! (Psa 47:1)
Now one of [the lepers], when he saw that he had been healed, turned back, glorifying God with a loud voice, and he fell on his face at His feet, giving thanks to Him. And he was a Samaritan. (Luk 17:15-16)
As soon as He was approaching, near the descent of the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of the disciples began to praise God joyfully with a loud voice for all the miracles which they had seen, shouting: "BLESSED IS THE KING WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD; Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!" (Luk 19:37-38). The religious crowd wanted to shut these loud-mouthed people up. But Jesus said that if these become silent, the stones will cry out!
And so he and all the Israelites took the ark of the Covenant up to Jerusalem with shouts of joy and the sound of trumpets. (2Sa 6:15)
When the priests came forth from the holy place (for all the priests who were present had sanctified themselves, without regard to divisions), and all the Levitical singers, Asaph, Heman, Jeduthun, and their sons and kinsmen, clothed in fine linen, with cymbals, harps and lyres, standing east of the altar, and with them one hundred and twenty priests blowing trumpets in unison when the trumpeters and the singers were to make themselves heard with one voice to praise and to glorify the LORD, and when they lifted up their voice accompanied by trumpets and cymbals and instruments of music, and when they praised the LORD saying, "He indeed is good for His lovingkindness is everlasting," then the house, the house of the LORD, was filled with a cloud, so that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud, for the glory of the LORD filled the house of God. (2Ch 5:11-14). The Hebrew in this passage indicates that they raised their voices up high and yelled. And I'm sure it made a loud sound of praise since it was accompanied by all those trumpets and loud cymbals!
This is not just for special occasions. The Lord loves loud praise that is full of love and joy. Shout out loud profusely and from the depths of your heart, "GLORY TO GOD! HALLELUJAH! HOLY, HOLY, HOLY! PRAISE YOU, JESUS!" In doing so, you are pleasing God and giving the enemy a headache, wreaking havoc on his kingdom of darkness. The angels enjoy this kind of praise and will join in with you also. If you need help with your praises, why not get some help from the Psalms and other Bible passages, like the ones I have listed on my other post, called "Praise the Lord!"
There is another Hebrew word, רוּע (rûa‛), in the Old Testament. It means "to mar (especially by breaking); figuratively to split the ears (with sound), that is, shout (for alarm or joy): - blow an alarm, cry (alarm, aloud, out), destroy, make a joyful noise, smart, shout (for joy), sound an alarm, triumph." -- Strongs. Here are some Scriptural examples of shouting:
So David arose early in the morning and left the flock with a keeper and took the supplies and went as Jesse had commanded him. And he came to the circle of the camp while the army was going out in battle array shouting the war cry. (1Sa 17:20)
O clap your hands, all peoples; Shout to God with the voice of joy. (Psa 47:1)
so that the people could not distinguish the sound of the shout of joy from the sound of the weeping of the people, for the people shouted with a loud shout, and the sound was heard far away. (Ezr 3:13)
O come, let us sing for joy to the LORD, Let us shout joyfully to the rock of our salvation. (Psa 95:1)
Brother Kim states, "All Christians must awake through prayer. We need to be spiritually alert and on guard and prepare for the Lord's return. A prayer warrior is a guard on duty! Moreover, the time of the Lord's return is imminent! Wake up, you sleeping guards! Now is the time to wake up! Groups of secular men and the forces of satan are waiting for us to sleep. Therefore, you must open your sleepy eyes wide open and wake yourselves up by shouting. Awake by praying, singing hymns, and reading the word. Let us carry out the mission of guardianship!" (Yong-Doo Kim, Baptized by Blazing Fire Book 5, 206 )
Even the Lord Himself shouts with this kind of battle cry:
The LORD will go forth like a warrior, He will arouse His zeal like a man of war. He will utter a shout, yes, He will raise a war cry. He will prevail against His enemies. (Isa 42:13)
Shout for joy, O daughter of Zion! Shout in triumph, O Israel! Rejoice and exult with all your heart, O daughter of Jerusalem! (Zep 3:14)
Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout in triumph, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; He is just and endowed with salvation, Humble, and mounted on a donkey, Even on a colt, the foal of a donkey. (Zec 9:9)
Of course there are many more Scriptures you could look at. Also see: Job 19:7; Job 24:12; Job 29:12; Job 30:20; Job 30:28; Job 35:9; Job 36:13; Job 38:41; Psa 5:2; Psa 18:6; Psa 18:41; Psa 22:24; Psa 28:2; Psa 30:2; Psa 31:22; Psa 72:12; Psa 88:13; Psa 119:147; Isa 58:9; Lam 3:8; Jon 2:2; Hab 1:2;
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Here is an interesting excerpt from the third volume of brother Kim's book, Baptized by Blazing Fire. One of brother Kim's church members, named Lee, Haak-Sung, gave this testimony called, "A Prayer That Soars High Up To Heaven."
While I was praying, Jesus came to me and He passed between all the praying individuals, and smiled, while mumbling under His breath. “I want to especially see whose prayer will soar highest to heaven, so let’s see,” and as soon as He said this, every single one of us simultaneously began to pray, trying to be filled with blazing fire of the Holy Spirit. I felt like we were firing a pistol of prayer.
This is consistent with the testimony of another woman, who wrote a book called "Sunshine, Daughter of Sacrifice." In it she describes how she was caught up into heaven during praise and worship. And she saw people's prayers ascending from earth to heaven. Some were like arrows. Others were moving slowly and weakly upward and she wondered how they would ever make it to heaven. Still other prayers were going up to heaven like rockets, front-loaded with praise.
Jesus said aloud, “Let’s see. That’s right, all right! As expected, Pastor Kim is doing very well! Yes, yes, you’re doing great. Be louder, more fire, much more earnestly! Oh yes, you’re doing great. Awesome… Sister Kang, Hyun-Ja, and is my bride to be also praying out loud? Yes, that’s it!” Then Jesus concentrated on hearing Joseph, Joo-Eun, myself, Yoo-Kyung, my mom, and Deaconess Shin. Jesus passed back and forth among us to examine how high our prayer was traveling. I can see visually that our prayer was like a race and how we performed was intensely displayed as bars on a graph. [end quote]
Putting it All Together
This is not meant to imply that we should never pray quietly, or that there is no value in contemplative prayer. However, I hope this post has helped you to see the greater power of praying loudly, crying out to God, proclaiming and declaring loudly, praising loudly, and shouting to God. If you have never been baptized with the Holy Spirit, then you should seek this gift from the Lord. Ask Him to also baptize you with fire. Then you will have the blazing fire of the Holy Spirit all over you, which will will enable you to live a holy life, and you will be able to pray and praise God in tongues. This will transform your prayer life in a way you never imagined!
Your voice should be strong and confident. Your prayers must have a red-hot fervency! This is the way David, our Lord Jesus, the early apostles, and many others in the Bible prayed. When you are living a holy life and pray with a strong voice like this, your prayers will be more powerful. If you agree, then right now you can loudly shout, "AMEN!"
Attribution notice: Most Scripture quotations taken from the NASB.
Author's note: If you enjoyed this post, please also see the following:
Baptized with the Holy Spirit
Link Between Two Realms
Holy Fire Baptism
Taking Heaven by Force
Lifting Hands in Prayer
Lifting Your Face in Prayer
Holy Living in a Perverted World
The Spirit is Willing
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Do You Want to Know Him?
If you want to know Jesus personally, you can. It all begins when you repent and believe in Jesus. Do you know what God's Word, the Bible says?
“Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.’” (Mar 1:14b-15). He preached that we must repent and believe.
Please see my explanation of this in my post called "Do You Want to Know Jesus?"
Len Lacroix is the founder of Doulos Missions International. He was based in Eastern Europe for four years, making disciples, as well as helping leaders to be more effective at making disciples who multiply, developing leaders who multiply, with the ultimate goal of planting churches that multiply. His ministry is now based in the United States with the same goal of helping fulfill the Great Commission. www.dmiworld.org.