I have asked myself the same question, and arrived at this answer for myself at least – it doesn’t matter. Whether “they” can hear our prayers or not does not give them additional power over us, and it does not reveal our needs or weakness to them. The largest reason may be that true prayer invites the Holy Spirit into the room, and evil must depart. Light and darkness cannot exist in the same place at the same time. On the other side of the coin, if our prayers are routine and insincere and do not invite the Holy Spirit, then “they” haven’t heard anything worth hearing. So – it doesn’t matter.
I personally find my greater prayers are silent, but I have also been urged at times to pray vocally. They key is to listen and obey.
I have written many times on “Mighty Prayer”. This is one of my favorites from last year:
Mighty Prayer is much more than praying long, or praying hard. It begins only when we bring the Holy Spirit with us into our prayer chambers, and then yield our own voice to the voice of revelation. Then the Holy Spirit guides our words, and leads in worship and glorying that man alone cannot achieve. It is prayer of the highest order, and few experiences ennoble and enable with equal power.
It requires some effort, and some time, and a suitable background in hearkening to the Holy Spirit to achieve, but when it finally happens, you will walk away a new person in Christ.
There are two overarching reasons why we should press ourselves diligently to develop and deploy Mighty Prayer. The first is that it is a necessary and unavoidable bridge that we must cross on our quest for the full blessings of the gospel. The type of veil-rending faith we seek lies at the far side of the bridge called Mighty Prayer.
The second reason is that, in my personal experience at least, every grand spiritual event I sought for and eventually obtained, began as Mighty Prayer. It’s almost as if the angels who are charged by God with vending the greater blessings only speak the language of the Holy Spirit. They don’t seem to converse in earth-born language, and the very essence of Mighty Prayer is that the Holy Spirit teaches us what to say, and how to say it. In Mighty Prayer the Spirit lifts us, sanctifies us and dresses us in spotless spiritual white, and for that moment, for that blink of eternity, we know how to speak the tongue of angels.
There are a few steps one can take to develop Might Prayer. You can read more about this in “Reaching for Mighty Prayer”.
1) Take the Holy Spirit for your guide. Do this in every decision of your life. When you kneel to pray, yield yourself to the same voice that speaks to you of right and wrong. This is the voice of revelation, and the only way to pray with power.
2) Pray, pray, pray, pray. The only way to learn to pray powerfully is to pray often and long. I personally think that praying 20 minutes every day is a minimum requirement for powerful spiritual progression.
3) Don’t use these prayers to ask for things until the Holy Spirit guides you. Use them to worship, to praise, to commune with Father. When the power of prayer falls upon you praise is natural, because you are suddenly in audience with the God of heaven, who loves you as dearly as if you were His only child. You will shout praises and weep because you will remember Him and Love Him, and yearn to be there, where you are, with Him, feeling his tender love all around you. When He tells you what you may ask for, you will have tremendous faith in His desire to grant you this thing, and you will ask with complete faith. When you ask for that thing, it will have already been granted and you will know it.
Mighty prayer seems to be about 80% praise, and 20% directed pleading and needing.
4) Lastly, enjoy your prayers. It is truly a glorious thing. When you reach for, and obtain, this mighty communion with your Heavenly Parent, you will desire to stay, and then to come back often. It is a delight. Joseph called fasting and prayer, “Fasting and rejoicing”.
© February 2012, John M. Pontius, all rights reserved. Non-commercial reproduction permitted.