Is it Quaker to pray out loud?

I love vocal prayer, it's an important part of my spiritual practice. I don't pray out loud every day at the moment, but I have made a practice of that in the past, and I do when I am struggling. In order to learn how to pray, I needed to practice out loud every day for months, as well as getting experience listening to the prayers of others who made it a practice to pray out loud every day.

It's good for others I think: when people are distressed or struggling, we can pray with/for each other to good effect. Praying together helps to gather us as a community. It's certainly mentioned in the scriptural letters: praying out loud, and praying for one another.

Is vocal prayer a more common part of worship in your local Meeting/church? In my Meeting vocal prayer is pretty rare. It tends to happen on rare occasions at Area Meeting and Yearly Meeting as well, but it's not the commonest form of worship at all. I don't know of other Quakers near me who have such a need to pray out loud as I do, or who make it a regular practice. Prayer tends to mean quiet reflection or listening worship for Friends in my Meeting if I understand it correctly.

What do you think? Is it orthodox Quaker practice? Can you help me learn about how Quakers have prayed in the past, from journals or whatever? Does Barclay say it's bad since not spontaneous, as I suspect from my memory of skimming through his Apology ... a few years back?

Have you discovered the value of vocal prayer yourself? Do you sense that vocal prayer is something you need more of in your Meeting community?

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Whatever feeds you, spiritually... but I'm wondering: Could this preference reflect your practices in some past life? If so, would that imply that they didn't lead you to the Exit that time?

I mean... I've found some gnostic notions quite sensible, even compellingly logical, but the whole system, describing this universe as a sort of divine mistake, was less digestible, however world-weary I sometimes get at the contemplation of politics, aging, bad music, human beings etc etc.

Anyway, would you like to add a comment or two to kwakerskripturestudy.blogspot.com ? We seem to have run short of gnostics these last few millenia, but it's a perspective that would have been in the air when John, for example, was written.
We know God is the God of the oppressed, the outcast, the poor and the weak. We know that God longs for justice with us, and wants to bring a peace that includes us all. We know that's what God wants, and God needs us to be on mission to get that done. God provides the power but God needs our hands and minds and hearts and voices to do it. God can bind us together as a community like you say.

That's the necessary starting point for being able to read scripture without it adding to the oppressive forces in the world. Influenced a lot by Paolo Freire's Pedagogy of the Oppressed here obviously! That's the stuff they were teaching when I was signing up for my classes in Quaker practice at Woodbrooke.

I guess the "Quaker" or primitive christian position is that we only need our collective intentional dependence on the powerful presence of the Risen Christ amongst us to do those things, not necessarily the bells and spells and robes.
Thanks Peggy! Maybe I will ask my Meeting if we want to affiliate with Freedom friends. :)

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