Like many others out there I’m reading through Scot McKnight’s latest book, Praying with the Church. In his discussion of reciting set prayers and prayers from scripture, McKnight is emphatic about the need to read prayers aloud. He claims that many prayer books were intended to be read this way. In fact, he asserts that the fastest way to make set prayers meaningless is to read them silently.
I basically agree with him, though I have clear memories of whipping off some “Our Fathers” and “Hail Mary’s” out loud and I am certain that it was quite a meaningless exercise at the time. Nevertheless, scripture and set prayers are certainly more effective devotionally when read aloud. I find that I am less rushed when reciting each prayer or scripture verse, and am often tempted to read it again if it didn’t stick.
Any thoughts on devotional reading and how to make it more meaningful?