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Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Ask Pastor Chris: Can Satan Hear Our Prayers?

Dear Pastor Chris,
            Can Satan hear our prayers?  I ask this because I actually pray silently, in hopes that the Devil can't, or maybe won't, be able to know what I am praying.

Your Inquisitive Friend,
Prayer Warrior

Dear Prayer Warrior,
James 4:7 says, “So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”  Humble obedience to God should be our main concern.  If we keep our focus on God, Satan has no chance.  It’s only when we take our focus off God and his Kingdom that we are in danger.
            Sometimes it feels like Satan is taunting me as I pray, trying to discourage me, but I just tell him to get lost.  I’ve even told him, “Say what you want, Devil, but you already know you lose in the end.”  I think that really drives Satan nuts and it ends my concerns on the matter.
            For me, I think the Devil’s presence (or perceived presence) during my prayer times has more to do with my own insecurities.  When I dwell on my sin or failures or shortcomings, it opens the door for Satan to come taunt me.  Thankfully, my faith in God’s goodness, forgiveness, and love reminds me to kick the Devil back out the door and to lock it tight.  I know God loves me no matter what, in spite of all my flaws.  I believe with my whole heart—“…nothing can ever separate us from God’s love” (Romans 8:38).  So the Enemy’s hateful, hurtful words are just his futile attempt to scare me or depress me or distract me, and I’m just not going to let him.
Can the Devil hear our prayers?  Maybe sometimes, but I think this would be true whether we say them out loud or silently in our heart.  I think Satan is a spiritual being and if and when he overhears our prayers, he can overhear our inner prayers too.  Don’t let that unsettle you though.  Satan has no power over God and he cannot intercept, disrupt, or stop our prayers from reaching God.  I suppose some might be concerned Satan will get a little inside information he could use against us.  I just don’t think God would allow it.  God is too powerful.  Actually, it must be incredibly frustrating to Satan to hear you pray about something, to see beforehand how God is going to answer your prayer, and how God’s answer is going to defeat Satan, and Satan can’t do a thing in the world to stop it.
However, if you still have a concern Satan might be eavesdropping on your prayers, I would just start my prayer by asking God to keep the conversation private.  Pray “Lord, stop up Satan’s ears so he can’t hear what I’m about to tell you.”  Done.  God will answer that prayer and Satan won’t be able to hear a thing you pray—whether you pray in your heart or screaming out loud.  (It’s sort of comical to think about really—everyone within ten blocks being able to hear your prayers because you’re screaming; and Satan is totally oblivious.)

Remember, God love you and so do I!

Pastor Chris

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