A Reflection On Silent Prayer Versus Verbal Prayer
The Bible tells us in 1 Thessalonians 5:17 that we must “pray without ceasing.” Jesus in Matthew 6 invites us to pray in our closet. Prayer comes from a place of faith and hope in God. It is in the place of prayer we can pour out our hearts to the Lord. It is in the place of prayer that we can adore God, confess our faults or sins to God. It is in the place of prayer where we make our petitions known unto God. It is in the place of intercession and thanksgiving as we yield to the working of the Holy Spirit in us allowing Him to finish the work he started in your heart when you said “yes” to Jesus Christ.
Biblically speaking, we have no evidence that praying out loud is more effective than silent praying. Scripture is filled with folks praying verbally like Solomon in 1 Kings 8 when he dedicated the temple. Jesus also prayed from the cross in Matthew 27 and other gospel texts. If these prayers were not made verbally, we would not have the records of these prayers that we have today. With this in mind, and based on my personal experience, I have found that verbal prayers have had a greater effect on my spiritual growth and on people that I have had the privilege to pray for. I promote verbal praying because the persons listening can learn something more of who God is. My verbal praying has helped to teach other people how to pray. Making our prayers heard is a powerful means of helping to change the atmosphere in our lives, the lives of our family members, thereby causing our attitudes, our thoughts, our emotions and our will to shift in alignment with God’s will. For example, a few years ago I was privileged to pray for someone outside my practice of faith. The person believed in God half-heartedly. He was trying to sell his house without the aid of a realtor but was unable to sell his house. I asked him if I could pray for him. He said “yes.” I prayed for him and his wife in the very house they were trying to sell. After the prayer, they were visibly moved in their bodies. They testified to a presence that they could not explain. The prayer took place on a Saturday, and by Tuesday, that is, within three days, their house was sold. My friend called me and said, “You came into my home, and your prayer changed the atmosphere,” all for the glory of God.
As you pray, do not conjure an image of what you think God looks like. If you have to form an image, think about Jesus suffering on the cross for your many, many sins, and be grateful that he has forgiven you and that he is coming again because He is no longer in the grave. You do not have to expel a lot of energy in your prayer. Just yield to the movements of the Holy Spirit in your heart. He will hear and answer your prayer of faith. As you practice praying verbally or out loud, you will begin to notice a deeper walk with God, more than you have ever known before, because you will begin to change from the inside out. So I encourage you to take a step of faith and begin to pray out loud - allow yourself to hear you talking to God, your heavenly Father. He knows your thoughts, yes, but He would also like to hear your voice. Put your words to God in the atmosphere for the glory of God and see the Joy in your soul being filled.