Q. When I pray I almost always pray in my mind and not aloud. Is it necessary to pray aloud and does it make any difference? Also should you pray on your knees when praying? Is there any scripture to support any of this? I would like to be most effective when praying and should think it’s how sincere you are and what you’re praying for that counts.
A. Praying aloud is done primarily for the benefit of others who are listening to and agreeing with our prayers (Matt. 18:19). Otherwise there’s no difference between vocal and silent prayer. God hears them both just the same.
Bowing or falling to our knees is a sign of both submission and supplication. It’s an act of humility and means we acknowledge God as our Lord. It reminds us that anything He gives us is out of mercy not obligation.
It’s not necessary to do this every time we pray, and sometimes it’s not possible. But when it’s convenient to do so, it reminds us of our place in the relationship. A subordinate bows before a superior.
As often as possible, I think it’s also important to thank God for answered prayers and other blessings we’ve received. I also believe it’s important to ask His forgiveness for our sins. We don’t have to be specific about them, since He already knows what they are. But a general prayer for forgiveness tells Him we know we’re sinners and are only allowed in His presence by the blood of Jesus.
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).
Finally, here’s what Jesus had to say about praying.
“When you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.” (Matt. 6:6-8)