PRAYING WITHOUT WORDS
But you, dear friends, build yourselves up
in your most holy faith
and pray in the Holy Spirit.
Keep yourselves in God's love as you wait
for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ
to bring you to eternal life
All teachers of Scripture conclude that the essence of prayer is simply the lefting up of the heart to God. But if this is so, it follows that everything else that doesn't life up the heart to God is not prayer. Therefore, singing, talking, and whistling without this lifting up of your heart to God are as much like prayer as scarecrows in the garden are like people. The name and appearance might be there, but the essence is missing.
Jerome confirmed this truth about prayer when he wrote about an early church leader named Agathon. Agathaon lived in the desert for thirty years and carried a stone in his mouth so that he would learn to stay quiet. But how did he pray? In his heart, undoubtedly. This is the kind of prayer god like the best. In fact, this is the only kind of prayer God regards and wants. But hearing the words helps us to think about what we're saying and helps us pray correctly. We should consider our spoken words to be like a trumpet, drum, organ, or other kind of sound that moves our hearts and lifts them up to God.
We shouldn't attempt to pray without words, relying on our own hearts, unless we are well trained spritually and skilled in removing stray thoughts from our minds. Otherwise, the devil will lead us astray and quickly destroy the prayers in our hearts. So we should cling to the words and let them lift us up - lift us until our feathers grow and we're able to soar high without the help of words.