I can identify with this question because I grew up where using a different voice tone for speaking or praying was a fairly common practice. While I have no ability or license to determine why some people do this, I can speak concerning my own experiences. There are some who love to be heard when they speak. They will sometimes change the tone of their speech to sound more intelligent or more educated. Listen to the words of the Lord in Matthew 6:1-5, “Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, TO BE SEEN OF THEM: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven. Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly. And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, THAT THEY MAY BE SEEN OF MEN. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.”

These verses deal with the hypocrisy of those who love attention, whether it be by giving, by praying, or by speaking. Of course, there are those who love to hear speakers who are eloquent and sound knowledgeable. Speaking eloquently and knowledgably is not wrong, but when the desire is to impress others with the sound of your words, then the intent is to gain attention for yourself. The Apostle Paul said of himself in 1 Corinthians 2:4, “And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power.” So many times, people desire style over substance. I can imagine that Paul was not a speaker that drew great crowds, but his words were empowered by the Holy Spirit and thus were greatly effective. There were some who compared Paul’s letters with his sermons. We read in 2 Corinthians 10:10, “For his letters, say they, are weighty and powerful; but his bodily presence is weak, and his SPEECH CONTEMPTIBLE.”

If we try to ‘put on airs’ when we speak, we are actually denying the power of God to use His Word to work in people’s hearts. It is not our speech that is powerful, it is God’s Word. Hebrews 4:12 tells us, “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” We do not listen to a speaker to be entertained or impressed. We should listen to a speaker to hear the Word of God expounded so that we might learn and grow in His Word. Speaking of some men, John says that, “They loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.” (John 12:43) May we not be guilty of such a destructive act. May we be content with the Word going forth with power. That power does not come from the ability of men to speak well; it comes from the Spirit of God.

Before closing this brief meditation, I want to draw your attention to Acts 17:11 which says, “These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.” Paul commended the Bereans because when they received, or heard, the word, they did so with ‘readiness of mind’ and compared what they heard with the scriptures to make sure what they heard was in agreeance with God’s Word.

Whether the preacher uses a distinct voice to preach or pray, may we make sure that what we listen to is according to God’s Word. If it is, we should accept it. If it is not, we should reject it no matter how ‘good’ the words sound to us. (251.6)