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The Scriptorium

Crying Out Loud

Sometimes we need to pray out loud. Psalm 119.149

Psalm 119.145-152 (4)

Pray Psalm 119.149.
Hear my voice according to Your lovingkindness;
O LORD, revive me according to Your justice.

Sing Psalm 119.149.
(Festal Song: Rise Up, O Men of God)
Lord, hear my plaintive voice, revive me by Your grace;
in justice let my soul rejoice before Your holy face.

Read Psalm 119.145-152; meditate on verse 149.


1. How did the psalmist want God to hear him?

2. What standard for revival was he seeking?

Let’s not gloss over that “Hear my voice…” The psalmist evidently practiced vocal prayer. He was actually crying out loud. Probably not always, but at least some. And there are benefits to this.

First, when we’re praying out loud we hear ourselves praying, and this can help to keep us on track in prayer. Praying silently, it’s easy to drift into this, that, and the other without noticing, until suddenly we’re off somewhere in a dark wood, wondering how we got here. Praying out loud is more organized, conversational and careful – as when you’re talking with a friend. We have to think a little harder about what we’re saying. Perhaps we’ll put a bit more emphasis or inflection into our prayers, and thus make them more meaningful, even to us.

Second, praying out loud trains your brain to think more “prayerfully.”  I don’t have any science here to back me up, but thinking combined with bodily action (talking) should cut a more reliable groove across the synapses of the brain. It’s why, in foreign language classes, you do “out loud” drills, so that you’re not just thinking in Spanish but forming your brain and mouth to speak it as well.

Is there a connection between praying out loud and how God receives those prayers? Is He more inclined to hear our prayers with lovingkindness when they are carefully phrased, thoughtfully spoken, and in a more conversational manner? Our psalmist might be seen to think so.

He sought reviving grace from the Lord, and in a form that brought the justice of God more to light in his life. Not that he wasn’t just, he simply felt a need for a fresh vision, a greater sense of urgency, and more consistency in acting justly. Justice is the outworking of God’s Law to its full extent. The psalmist wanted more of this in his life. And he knew where to get it.

And how, for crying out loud.

Treasures Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.162
“…with liberty and justice for all.” But not really. No flag or country can offer what only the Lord God can give us. His justice is perfect. And His lovingkindness supreme.

We count on His lovingkindness to hear us when we call to Him. And we plead with Him for revival according to His justice. Not the world’s, but His alone.

“Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass.
He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday” (Ps. 37.5, 6).

“For the LORD is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for Him” (Is. 30.18).

Nebuchadnezzar gave a cogent word of testimony about God’s justice, even though “he was driven from men and ate grass like oxen; his body was wet with the dew of heaven till his hair had grown like eagles’ feathers and his nails like birds’ claws” (Dan.4.33).  His detour into the animal kingdom was bestowed upon him for his hubris. But after he repented of his sin, his reason returned to him, and his thanks and praise went to God. “Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, all of whose works are truth, and His ways justice. And those who walk in pride He is able to put down” (Dan. 4.37). He experienced the judgment of God and deemed it just.

Isaiah relayed God’s words about Jesus and His works of justice, saying:
“Behold, My Servant whom I have chosen, My Beloved in whom My soul is well pleased!
I will put My Spirit upon Him, and He will declare justice to the Gentiles.
He will not quarrel nor cry out, nor will anyone hear His voice in the streets.
A bruised reed He will not break, and smoking flax He will not quench,
till He sends forth justice to victory; and in His Name Gentiles will trust” (Is. 42.1-4; Matt.12.18-21).

We have been saved to trust in Him, therefore we cry out loud:
“Hear my voice according to Your lovingkindness;
O LORD, revive me according to Your justice” (Ps. 119.149).

God, in turn, calls us to fulfill the works of a godly life in our Personal Mission Field.
And what is it that He requires of us? To do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with Him (Mic. 6.8).

God says: “But let justice run down like water, and righteousness like a mighty stream” (Amos 5.24).
Revive us in Your justice so that we can do justice. Then, in His kingdom, through the good works of His people, there may be liberty and justice for all.

For reflection
1. What is justice? How would you explain “justice” to a new believer?

2. Can we have true justice apart from the Law of God? Explain.

3. Do you pray out loud? Do you think praying out loud might help your prayer life? Explain.

To revive means “to cause to live.” With this word the psalmist begs God to transform his life, to breathe new life back into his soul. The psalmist does not want his obedience to be mechanical; he asks for a renewed spirit. The basis of his plea is God’s covenantal love and His just nature. Earl Radmacher (1931-2014), NKJV Study Bible Note on Psalm 119.149

Pray Psalm 119.147, 148.
Spread your needs before the Lord in prayer, calling on Him for grace to help throughout this day. Ask Him to give you a Word from Scripture that you can meditate on throughout the day.

Sing Psalm 119.147, 148.
(Festal Song: Rise Up, O Men of God)
Before the dawn I rise; Lord, hear me when I cry.
I hope in Your unfailing Word and will until I die.

I seek You through the night to contemplate Your Word.
Bring my poor soul into the light; teach me Your Law, O Lord!

T. M. and Susie Moore

You can listen to a summary of last week’s Scriptorium study by going to our website,, and clicking the Scriptorium tab for last Sunday. You can download any or all the studies in this series on Psalm 119 by clicking here.

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Except as indicated, all Scriptures are taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. For sources of all quotations, see the weekly PDF of this study. All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalter (Williston: Waxed Tablet Publications, 2006), available by clicking here.


T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

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