There is power in prayer even when prayed in the mind of one who has been silenced or muted by the enemy (aka the devil).
I’ve heard teaching from teachers that I respect and admire say that the power of prayer is in the spoken word more so than in the thought word. I both agree and disagree with this teaching. I do believe that the spoken word carries power in it. But as someone who was silenced by abusive people for most of my life, I can testify to the power of my prayers that were only thoughts in my mind. God heard my thought prayers and responded swiftly and powerfully to my heart cries that were only audible in my mind.
I believe that God meets each of us where we are and does not demand that we meet Him where He is. I believe that He wants to lead us to higher places than where He found us so that as we mature in our faith and become more whole from His healing, He leads us to do greater things than we could imagine. For me, that greater thing is speaking out loud my prayers, my thoughts and my feelings.
I spent most of my life in fear of saying what I thought or felt because when I did, I was severely punished for speaking. I soon learned that being silent was the best way to survive, to endure the prison that I was held captive in. It would be ten years after I escaped the worst of those prisons, a dark twisted toxic relationship, before I would be willing to even begin speaking the secrets of my heart out loud, to myself, in my silent apartment, where I lived alone.
As the Lord healed me over the course of those ten years, I prayed countless silent prayers, in secret, in hiding, when no one else was around. I didn’t even feel safe praying silently when other people were in the room. It felt too scary and vulnerable for me back then.
The Lord tenderly and patiently led me to a place where I felt safe praying silently around others. And then He led me to a place where I felt safe praying out loud in my home. As my comfort level grew, He led me down new and bolder paths until I was able to feel comfortable praying for others out loud. He even led me to a brave place where I could pray in public for strangers.
It takes great courage and trust in the Lord for me to believe that He covers me and holds me on those heights where I am doing more than I ever thought I could - like speaking and praying out loud. But it is so wonderful to me to see how far He has led me out of the prison of silence, fear and abuse.
I want to encourage you that if you currently pray silently, let that be enough. Let the Lord lead you into greater boldness when He knows that you are ready. Don’t let shame take hold of you when others pray out loud or try to tell you that your prayers don’t count because they are silent prayers. Those people don’t know your heart like God does. Let His faithfulness and gentleness cover you and comfort you right where you are. He won’t ask more of you than He knows you are ready for. He accepts you just as you are and is glad to be with you where you are, right now.
I pray that you are comforted by my testimony of His tender response to my years of silent prayers. He is so faithful and gentle. And He is delighted to hear from you in whatever way that you feel comfortable communicating with Him.