Wordless Prayer

Noise is more portable than ever before, yet, it is in silence and solitude that we learn to synchronize our hearts with His. The very silence that has become so elusive in our world is the essential element for you who want to move from “saying prayers” to living in an abandoned intimacy with the One for whom your heart is made.

The reason for listening is so that He can breathe His words into our thoughts. His desires become the mold in which my desires are shaped. I wait quietly in His presence so that He can speak peace and truth into the chaos of my frenetic life.

Have no agenda except to rest in His embrace, to let Him do the grace-​work while you savor His nearness. Out of your wordlessness, words come. But they are words whose origins are in Him. He floods our silence with His living voice.

How to Pray Without Words

How do we approach prayer without words? Let me make some suggestions, but find your own way.

1. Picturing Prayer

God has designed the Bible to be a book of pictures because He created our minds to be visually oriented. Our minds turn every idea into a mental picture of some sort.

As I describe visual praying to you, let me first emphasize that this is nothing like New Age religions call “visualizing.” In that false teaching, a person is instructed to visualize something in order to create a reality. The error is that visualizing something will create the power to bring it to pass. This is not what I am talking about.

To pray visually, allow your mind to “see” the reality that God has already described to us — the reality of His presence in you and with you. You are not trying to create a reality, but instead you are entering into the experience of that which is already so. [Be fully aware of the presence of Christ and be completely in the moment.]  Let your mind’s eye see Him. [Maybe you see Him in the room with you. Maybe you see yourself in the heavenly realms with Him. Either is true and solidly real.]

2. Conversation

Conversation begins — the give and take of two hearts. Let Him tell you how extravagantly He loves you and how He delights in you. Respond to Him in that moment. You are not imagining a scene, you are experiencing His presence.

3. The Word

Let the Spirit of the living and present Word speak His words to you. As you read the Scripture during listening prayer, don’t make an effort to analyze it or parse it. Ask Him to speak it to you in a new and living way. Focus on Him and His voice.

4. Worship with Abandon

Do you know what I love the most about discovering the inner sanctuary of my own soul? I can worship with abandon . You don’t have to be self-​conscious. You are His and He is yours. An audience of One.

How do you arrange your life to include solitude and silence? What are the challenges?  What works for you?

About Jennifer Kennedy Dean

Jennifer Kennedy Dean is executive director of The Praying Life Foundation and a respected author and speaker. She is the author of numerous books, studies, and magazine articles specializing in prayer and spiritual formation. Her book, Heart’s Cry, has been named […]

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  1. so true… what satan does with God's great ideas is he twists it into his own…visually seeing myself with Him… at His feet , or on His lap is something that brings me close to Him…like John I often visualize my head on His chest… thank you for this reminder to get quite before Him… I tend to think and talk too much 🙁

  2. yea…we need to turn our consciousness inward. By doing this you are "going into the closet to pray". You are shutting your consciousness to the outside world to go within and spend time with God

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