Yes, you can pray in tongues silently but it is not always the best way to pray. Whenever I try to pray in tongues silently, I feel I am limiting the Holy Spirit.
The work of our mouths is to declare the wonders of God. Why should you pray silently?
Why People Pray in Tongues Silently
Whenever someone prays in tongues silently, there is an element of fear. Speaking in tongues by nature sounds gibberish.
If people who don’t believe in praying in tongues hear you praying in tongues, they will react. Some may call you crazy, others may physically attack you.
It is the fear of what may happen to us when others hear us praying in tongues that makes many people pray in tongues silently.
But God has not given us the Spirit of fear. The Spirit of God in us is bold. We are to display that boldness whenever we speak in tongues.
The Bible says the wicked flee when no one pursues but the righteous are as bold as a lion. That boldness should make you pray in tongues aloud.
I have struggled with fear when it comes to speaking in tongues ever since I got the gift. Right from the first time I spoke in tongues, fear was evident.
While the fear of speaking in tongues has gradually reduced, it made me pray in tongues silently for most of my early days.
I would lock myself in my room and murmur the words that the Spirit of God gave me. I was scared of the words the Spirit of God gave to me. They sounded odd and I never wanted anyone to know I was speaking such things. Shame on me!
I thank God because the fear of speaking in tongues aloud gradually reduced and now I pray in tongues aloud pretty much every time.
Sometimes Praying in Tongues Silently Makes Sense
While speaking in tongues silently is generally not good, sometimes it can be excused. If you get a prompt to speak in tongues and you are at work, in school, using public transport etc it makes sense to do it in a low tone.
Speaking in tongues aloud has its consequences. If you are not ready to deal with them, it is wise to pray in tongues silently.
I used to go to the prayer room in campus and sometimes I would find people praying in tongues aloud to the point that I could not concentrate in my prayer.
While praying aloud is good, in such a case, praying silently would do better. If words must be audible, then speaking them in low tones is the way to go.
The most important thing is that you don’t quench the Spirit of God by praying in tongues silently. If He insists that you pray aloud, do it. Don’t let fear cause you to limit the Spirit of God.
Praying in Tongues Silently: What I have Learned
1. Our Words are Law
The word of God is His law. Whatever He declares, He lives by it. He has esteemed His word above His name.
We are created in the image of God. Just as His words are law, our words too are law. We set laws by what we speak. If we break our own laws, God counts us as unfaithful. Not a good place to be!
Praying in tongues is uttering declarations in the spiritual realm. What you speak out in tongues becomes a law that works for your good.
If you pray in tongues silently, you don’t set any laws. Your thoughts only become a law when they are either spoken or written.
When the devil tempted Jesus, Jesus replied by saying ‘It is written…’. The scriptures Jesus quoted were the law of God because they were written. What if the writers only thought about the scriptures and never wrote them? What would Jesus have quoted?
When you understand that your words are so powerful, you will understand why it is good to avoid praying in tongues silently.
2. Praying in tongues to God Silently is Okay
Speaking in tongues silently to God is perfectly fine because God can hear you. Also, when praying to God, there is grace that caters for your shortcomings.
However, your silent prayer to God should not be done out of fear. Fear is the opposite of faith and it is impossible to please God without faith.
Pray in tongues silently because you want to or because it is the wise thing to do based on your circumstances.
In the Bible, there is the story of Hannah who was praying silently and only her lips were moving. Despite her prayer being silent, it was fervent and God answered her.
When there are no declarations needed, praying in tongues silently is fine.
3. Praying in Tongues Silently is Part of the Growth Curve
Generally, when you first get the baptism to speak in tongues, there is a tendency to prefer doing it silently. That is the first stage but you need to grow out of it.
The more you engage in speaking in tongues, the more comfortable you become to do it aloud. Eventually, you need to get to a point where you can speak in tongues silently when it is necessary and aloud when it is needed.
Praying in Tongues Silently Conclusion
There are no hard rules. Any balanced believer should have the wisdom to pray in tongues silently and aloud based on the need.
The disciples of Jesus on the day of Pentecost were in public and they spoke in tongues aloud that people outside the room heard them.
God wanted it that way to draw the attention of the people outside the upper room. The commotion attracted many curious people and as we are told, about 3000 people came to the faith that day.
If praying in tongues silently suits you most of the time, then capitalize on it. If you prefer to speak in tongues aloud and it works for you, do it.
The goal is to have balance. Each approach has its time and season. Wisdom will help you know when it is time for each.
May God give you wisdom!