Are you afraid when asked to pray in public or should I say terrified? If so you are not alone. Many people, even those who have no trouble praying in private, freeze when asked to pray aloud in public.

When you pray out loud in public you are giving a group of people a prayer voice. You do not need fancy words – in fact it is much better to use words that everyone can understand. You do not need to pray for a long time. Short prayers are usually better and you do not need to preach a sermon but focus on God and what is in your heart.

To pray aloud in public, you need a plan, because it helps you by knowing what to say, how to start and how to finish. I’m going to give you a simple formula you can use when you are called upon to pray in front of a group. You just need to use the fingers on your hand. When you get more practice, you can enhance this and deviate from it. But this will help you in the beginning.

The formula was developed by Reverend Marilyn Anell, Director of the Pastoral Care Ministry at New Covenant United Methodist Church in The Villages, Florida.


Thumb – T – Thanksgiving (Thank the Lord)

Pointer finger – P- Praise (Praise the Lord)

Middle & Ring – MR – Make Request (Lord guide us in your will this day)

Pinky – P – Parting Words (In the name of Jesus, Amen.)

Sample Prayer

Dear Lord Thank you for this beautiful day and the many blessings you have bestowed on us.

We praise your name and give all glory to you.

We ask (request) that you guide us in all that we do and that you give us peace, healing and comfort in our times of need.

(Parting Words) In the name of Jesus, Amen.


By carol

Carol Ann Bailey EdD, Retired Associate Vice Chancellor, Regional Programs Assistant Professor, Director of Center for Rural Health, Retired, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences

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