Sunday, May 25, 2008

Prayer and Silent Prayer

I've been thinking about silent prayer lately. I realize my prayer life is very feeble and goes up and down. Some days I pray a lot and other days I barely pray at all. But if I stop and take notice, I do hear myself praying, though not in my words.

The exhausting thing about prayer to me is the constant feeling that I need to articulate everything. Everyone else seems to do so, so I guess it's become burned into my brain that in order for God to hear my prayer, I need to pray very specifically or whatever. But most of the time I don't know what to pray for except "Father be with so and so" or "Help them, Father."

I like being short and straight to the point. It's exhausting for me to tell God what I want Him to do in a persons life. I don't know what they really need. I just want Him to be with them and give them help, strength, guidance and joy in the midst of whatever they're going through.

And when I pray for healing it usually ends up being "Father, heal so and so of this and that."

But I was wondering about silent prayer and if anyone in our group prays most often silently. I am mostly verbal which I find tiring. I don't want to give speeches. I just want to tell God what I want for myself or someone else!


Joel Brueseke said...

However your heart expresses itself and relates to God - that is the way to pray. If it's through your silent thoughts, through speaking, through shouting, through body movement, or through whatever, that's you communicating with God. The Spirit intercedes for us "with groanings which cannot be uttered." (Rom 8:26).

I think we also communicate with God through crying, through observing, through the spontaneous plea, "HEEEELLLP!," through all our emotions, and in so many other ways.

Sometimes our prayers may be outward, straightforward and formal, but I think the main thing is that we simply communicate between our heart and His, however that may look at any given time.

Bino Manjasseril said...

He knows before you ask! I struggle with the same things you mentioned here. I don't know if this ironic: I pray less as I understand His love and grace more. If I pray just for the sake of praying I fear I lose intimacy. We stopped our formal evening prayer many months ago. But we do pray sometimes as a family. I pray once in a while while driving. Sometimes I see some big 'Thank You''s coming out of my heart which I think is powerful than and heartfelt than any of my long lasting prayers.
Silent prayer definitely plays a major role in a believer's life than loud prayers. God is not so much interested in what comes from our mouth when it is a fact that we can speak contrary to our heart. God is more interested in our heart and He can see it though if we don't express it using words.

lydia joy said...

Yeah Matt this is good .... I find myself praying in my spirit most often these days.....I like what Joel said at the end of his comment...I truly believe the Lord wants us to want to relate to him and to joyfully use prayer in whatever form to partner with Him!!

Matthew Daelon said...

What you guys have said is what I've been thinking. But, as always, the religious mentality in me says thats too soft or new agey. It's a faith issue I suppose. Believing God cares enough to listen to my heart and not just my mouth. I find myself constantly praying in my heart, but my religious tendency says that thats laziness or whatever.

You make great points, Bino. Thank you for giving me some advice. It really helped!! It's such a relaxing way to enjoy my Father. Knowing we're in union is difficult for my mind to grasp, but when I simply rest in the fact without trying to understand it or feel it, it becomes so freeing.

So glad to know brothers and sisters around the world are going through the same things with me!

Aida said...

This is a fascinating blog and the comments are great. Joel talked about "silent thoughts" and that's a wonderful way of describing the main way I pray. It's a difficult concept to explain but Father talks with me through my thoughts.

I used to feel guilty because I spent most of my time thinking instead of actually talking to him. Like you, I didn't verbalize prayers but Father showed me that my thoughts are prayers. Since he lives in me, we can discuss things through my thoughts. I've come to accept that as true. Also, several others have since told me that's the primary way they pray too so I guess I'm not flaky.


Nicole said...


I know this is an older post but I wanted to comment because I have thought about this and how I communicate to Father!

Ever since I left the IC I found myself talking to father in my thoughts more than outloud! I always felt uncomfortable talking outloud to Father I don't know why, but also I hated praying in groups outloud as well because I felt like I had to reherse what I was going to say before I said it and that didn't seem natural to me. Like, if I meet someone for the first time I don't reherse what I am about to say before I say it I just act myself and say what I just comes out! I try to approach my prayer life like this as well! Just talk to Father naturally in my thoughts and not have to reherse and practice what I am going to 'pray'...

Good Post Matt!

In Freedom, Nicole!

Matthew Daelon said...

Hey Nicole!

Thanks for commenting. I had difficulty with praying in front of others as well. I've only done it once with my Church and a few times with my mom. I always felt really uncomfortable. I refused to do it because I'm shy and I would have been talking to the people rather than God.

I pray in my thoughts all the time now. Now I understand how we're able to "pray without ceasing."

God listens to our hearts, not our mouths.