What Does the Bible Say About Praying Silently?

What Does the Bible Say About Praying Silently?

Prayer is a natural impulse of faith; it is a way we pour out our heart desires to God. It is a passionate affair, and people express their passion differently. While some people prefer to cry out loudly to God, others find words to be failing and therefore pray silently. What does the Bible say about praying silently?

We’ll find out in this article. 

So, What Does the Bible Say About Praying Silently?

The words ‘be still’ can be found in Psalm 46:10 and is immediately followed by an instruction to know God. Prayer is a way to help us grow our knowledge of God and know the heart of God. Praying silently helps to foster a quiet reflection.

When you pray silently, your mind is filled with the thought of God.

Jesus says that when we pray, we should enter the closet, shut the door and pray to the Father in secret. He states explicitly that we shouldn’t be like the heathen known for their much speaking when praying. This Bible Passage shows us what Jesus thinks of silent prayers. 

Additionally, the Bible says in 1 Thessalonians 5:17 that we should pray without ceasing; we can only achieve this through silent prayer. One cannot pray aloud at all times; this is where praying silently comes into play.

Is It Better to Pray Out Loud or Silently?

Prayers, whether silently or out loud, are all-powerful. Therefore, you don’t have to worry whether praying silently will diminish the impact of your prayers or not. Sometimes, when you pray silently, your mind becomes quieter and more focused.

However, there are situations where praying out loud makes more sense than praying in your head. For example, when other believers need to help each other, it would have more impact when they can hear you praying out loud. 

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Additionally, some people love to pray out loud when their emotions compel them.

The Bible supports this through Psalm 811 “sing for joy to God our strength, shout aloud to the God of Jacob.” Therefore, sometimes you might want to emphasize your enthusiasm by praying out loud.

Other times, like when you’re in emotional pain, it’s most appropriate to pray in your mind. An example is Hannah, who prayed in her heart. Although her lips were moving, people did not hear her voice. Praying silently is best when you don’t want to draw people’s attention to your prayers.

God knows what you need before asking whether you pray silently or aloud. As long as the purpose behind praying loudly isn’t to be seen, then praying aloud is just as effective as praying silently.

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Can You Pray in Your Head?

Yes, you can.

Whether your lips are moving or not, God hears your prayers. God is always with us and is fully aware of what’s happening in our lives. Additionally, He has allowed us to express our prayers in any way that works best for us. We are assured through the scriptures in Joshua 1:9 that the Lord will be with us wherever we go. 

Therefore, when we acknowledge God’s constant presence with us, we can offer a prayer to God in our minds anywhere and at any time. We don’t have to draw God’s attention to our prayers by uttering words; He is fully aware of all we do, including when we pray in our minds.

Examples of Silent Prayers in the Bible

There are several examples of silent prayers in the Bible; below are prominent examples that silent prayers work.

  1. Hannah: The most famous example of silent prayers can be seen in the life of Hannah. Her petition to God for a child was inaudible to everyone around her. In 1 Samuel 1, we find out that Hannah’s heart was burdened with the thought of barrenness and couldn’t make a single sound in the place of prayer. Although her mouth moved, no words came from it. Eventually, God granted Hannah her heart’s desire. 
  2. Eliezer: Another example of silent prayers in the Bible is Eliezer. He spoke in his heart for a wife for Isaac. However, before he was done with his prayers, Rebekah appeared. You can find the whole story in Genesis 24.
  3. Nehemiah: Nehemiah 2:4-5 could also reflect that Nehemiah prayed silently when the King asked him what he requested. He was recorded to have stated that he prayed to the God of heaven before answering the King. 

Does God Hear Silent Prayers?

I’ve had a few persons ask me, “Can God hear silent prayers?”

Although the Bible doesn’t give a guide on how to pray a silent prayer or when you should pray for it, it is without reasonable doubt that God listens to silent prayers. God is all-knowing and therefore knows all the thoughts we have.

Even when we pray silently, he is aware and can hear our prayer. Sometimes, we say little prayers to God in our hearts, like a short prayer before a test or while in the line in a grocery store. 

God judges the thoughts of the wicked, and he finds the pure thoughts pleasing. Therefore, He will still hear you even when you don’t put our thoughts into words.

Furthermore, Romans 8:26 states that the Spirit helps us in our weakness and intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. This shows that God hears us when we pray silently.


There’s no doubt that prayer is one of the greatest gifts God has given man. It provides us with the ability to communicate with our Father in Heaven. Whether you’re praying silently or aloud, God answers all prayers and understands the thoughts in your mind. The real test of prayer is that your desire is honest and pure, whether it’s silent or aloud. Praying aloud and silently are equal before God, and he hears both.


  • I think the heart and belief in the power of God to answer the prayers is what matters most when praying. Both prayer types are great as long as it’s done with the right heart and motive! Great piece!

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