I do not generally pray outloud. This isn't normally a big issue for me, as I feel very comfortable in my method(s) of prayer. There are so many ways that one can speak to our Lord, that I feel like everyone should find the way they feel most comfortable and do it. But leading a bible study one of my responsibilities is an opening and closing prayer. It is more uncomfortable to me than even getting up and leading the group, and that is outside of my comfort zone.
Praying for me is such and awesome thing. I always feel different when I go to prayer and the feelings and silent words tend to flow from me. So, when I have to pray outloud I become self-concious about it. I stumble over words and fall silent for periods of time so that I can find the words to explain my thoughts (so to speak). Last week when I did this I know that some people were a little taken aback with the shortness of the prayers, but I just couldn't do it, not in words.
I only voluntarily pray aloud when I pray over my girls. I didn't even used to do this, but started when MB asked how does one talk to God. I had always prayed over the girls from the first time they were placed in my arms, to praying for their safety as they slept peacefully in their cribs. But the only prayers MB had ever heard aloud were those that I had read from those wonderful poetry/prayer books. Those are beautiful, poetic prayers but they do not really teach a child how easy it is to just sit and talk to the Father. So I began praying over them aloud. Showing her how easy it was and how you don't always have to have the right words and that it is just like talking to her father and myself.
I pray a lot, sometimes catching myself almost doing it unconciously. But always silently. My favorite method of prayer is writing. I write in my journal almost every night. And most nights it is really a prayer concerning something that is going on in my life. It is the place where I can feel, more easily, the Holy Spirit moving in my life. I do a lot of freeflow writing there, and boy can things pop up out of that. Sometimes I ask questions and even get directions or answers or comfort back. Praying is comfortable for me, except when I have to do it front of people I only generally know.
So I am trying to figure out how to make the outloud prayer thing easier for me to do. And, easier for others to listen to.