There was an idea I carried for many years concerning prayer that God knows everything and knows how I feel, therefore I should not have to say it aloud. There is even a gospel song that says when you can’t say anything else when praying because the pain is so great, just say “oh!”

Being brought up in an African-American household full of strong women, we were taught to “be strong.” Sometimes being strong meant not acknowledging the pain. It will be over before you know it. God knows what you need, just move on. So I used to feel having to verbally acknowledge this pain was a form of weakness. It showed I was not strong enough and a poor example as a servant.

Since beginning to practice tradition many years ago, I found this ideology contradicted the traditional requirement that you say your prayers out loud – not in your head, not in your heart. At first this was very uncomfortable to me. I believed I was losing some (self-imagined) benefit by doing this. My weakness would be known to all spirits, elevated and low alike. However through daily practice, what I found was there was more power and healing than I could have imagined in speaking prayers aloud.

There is power in calling a thing a thing.

In other cultures where praying aloud is the standard, and people have been taught from very young different ways to describe their experience whether they use chanting, singing, or some form of prayer that is done aloud and uses vibrational energy they seem to have the strength to be able to describe very distinctly what their pain is even if they do not care to take any action to change their situation. Just being able to express a situation allows you to be able to playback the message and begin to uncover its source and make-up. It may not be external but an internal issue in its origin, or perhaps it is a mixture. Regardless of the source, it provides space for the ability to pick apart the different components which can lead to far better resolution than keeping the concept of it in your head.

There was some pain that I had about a situation that had emotions, it had gravity, it had feelings, but it did not have words that allowed me to fully express what I was enduring. When emotions are that deep it is critical to find the words in prayer. Finding the words, in itself, is an act of beginning to heal. It gives the pain definition, it provides a framework that includes the boundaries of that pain. It brings awareness to what that looks like and where it is so that an intangible emotion can be held, looked at, examined and analyzed. It removes the veil from it and makes it so you can see this thing and address it clearly. In this way you expose it, “shaming the devil” (as the expression goes) which will give you power over the situation or challenge.

You can and should go to Olodumare (God Almighty), Orisa (divine energies created by God), and Egun (Ancestors). As an added feature praying aloud allows you to take steps to begin resolution of the issue for yourself to begin to heal. While Olodumare, Orisa and Egun are working their end of the situation, there is always a “your end” of the situation where you have work to do within tradition. This form of active awareness and healing is the true basis of tradition.

There have been times that in praying aloud I realized I was completely wrong about a situation. Having the ability to call a thing a thing, and name it has given me power over the situation I was praying about. It removes delusions. If you are struggling to describe something as a rabbit, but your description is a dog, the delusion is exposed.

The vibrational ase (energy) in praying aloud can diffuse an issue by taking the heat from it or amplify an energy when needed. Once the issue or pain has a name and is defined, you can do whatever is needed to bring about the resolution, dissolve delusions, and start healing. The vibrational ase of praying aloud helps to expose it; to tell the truth to the universe about what this thing is. This is the wisdom of being required to pray aloud.

© 2017 Danielle Mayo

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