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?