Had a discussion last night with a friend. I was telling her about a situation I had been praying about, and specifically prayed the other night I get an answer like a 2 by 4 over my head to hear the answer. So she asked me if I prayed it out loud or silently,I said silently the other night, out loud on occasions before… She responded that the answer could not be from satan trying to mislead because only God can hear our private thoughts and prayers. hmmmmmmmmmmm. Thoughts on this? Church teaching on this? What about prayers said out loud during mass and other christian services, they are said out loud. So her answer does not make sense to me, but in a way it does.
Satan and his legion of demons can certainly hear the prayers of the priest when he is performing an excorcism. I’ve seen videos (that I would never share with anyone) with the demon flipping out at the recitation of the Lord’s prayer.
I have had false and evil suggestions come to my mind after praying for advice. Clearly they were not of God because God is the full extent of love and there was no love in these words.
Satan will not agree with scripture and will not agree with Church teaching but he may give a perverted presentation of both to suit his purpose.
Yes, Satan can hear our prayers.
Yes, he can influence us and speak to us just as he did with Jesus in the desert.
Yes, we can distinguish between his voice and the voice of our benevolent, loving creator.
When I have friends picking up meditative prayer I frequently hear something like, “I prayed to God asking what I should do about my family and I just heard, ‘Be still and know that I am God. I love you and I will take care of you.’ But then it was like I heard, ‘But you’ll probably #$%& it up, somehow.’”
Which of those would be the voice of God? Which of them would be Satan and/or personal thoughts?
Any of you learned Catholics out there, what does the Church have to say about Satan being able to hear your private thoughts and prayers. I can understand if Satan could hear your vocal prayers, but I am not so sure about God allowing him to know what is between the person and Him. What is a Catholic Church perspective on this?
The part that interests me from her statement to me was that if we say our prayers silently, satan can not hear them, only God can. Instinively I want to say, I don’t think that is right, but have no reference for that. Just an interesting discussion I would like to continue with her in general.
One of the primary signs of demon possession is “hidden knowledge” which is typically defined as knowing the future or reading someone’s mind.
Here is what Michelle Arnold said on the topic of demons being able to read our minds:
Because he is a pure spiritual being and because of his vastly superior angelic intelligence, Satan is extremely powerful and so human beings should not make the mistake of underestimating him. However, he is also a finite creature and therefore does not have divine attributes like omniscience or omnipotence. In short, Satan cannot read minds.
I agree with her. Demons are extremely intelligent. Dr. Peter Kreeft in his book on angels and demons says that the difference in intelligence between angels and humans is similar to the difference in intelligence between humans and animals.
I think it is dangerous to assume all inspirations you have during prayer come from God. They could come from your own imagination, or they could be inspired by demons. Although they can’t read minds and listen in on our silent prayers, they are smart enough to guess when a person is praying, observe the circumstances of that person’s life and send temptations that can seem like they can read minds.
I think it is misleading to say that hidden knowledge comes from reading minds. The “hidden knowledge” a demon might reveal is more likely something a demon observed the person do in the past.
As far as demons hearing you pray out loud, I can tell you from first hand experience in deliverance ministry that they can.
When you pray you are instantly sealed with the cross-(prayer seals will even show up in photographs) God hears all prayers and all prayers are answered…when you pray outloud anyone-human or otherwise can hear and anyone-human or otherwise can respond-…God’s own know His voice-it resonates within you…ignore the rest…
Actually the devil is very intelligent about science being a fallen angel. When you pray even in your thoughts the muscles in your face move and twitch as if you were speaking. So scientifically you could determine what was being said if you knew and studied the patterns. Secondly we have all experienced our family or friends having a uncanny knack for guessing what we are up to even though we havent told them. This is from just knowing you well enough to surmise the devils are with us constantly recording all that we do especially sins. They study us and create strategies of attack. They are a rigorous enemy. This is the great battle between us and Principalities and Powers which of course are the two chief angelic choirs that became devils.
Even with this said why should it matter what they know. Everything is in God’s hands even the devils. They do not have freedom. Trust in God and just surrender to His Will.
What do you mean about 'prayer seals will even show up in photographs? Do you have any pictures or an experience to share?
I agree with the posters above. Demons cannot read our thoughts but they are experts on picking up body language, but they cannot read your mind.
Prayer seals will look like little pin dots of light on photographs…many people probably don’t even notice them- but close up they appear as crosses you can read more about them and see them in this book
I would insert an image of my own here for you to see them- but the “insert image” asks for an url
as a point of clarification, since OP is asking for Catholic teaching, this is not it
The author is catholic…but the question was about what the seals look like-…there is nothing in the book that is against the Catholic faith- to the contrary - it supports it-although to share with peoples of all faiths
Just because Satan can’t read your mind doesn’t mean he can’t make a pretty damn good guess at what you’re exactly praying about, or know when you’re praying.
I have a pretty good idea of when people are praying in public even if they don’t have their hands in prayer. I’m sure he can work out when you are praying, and in a lot of cases what you’re praying about.
A lot of us pray about situations in our lives or for healing in this and that or for avoiding temptation, oh he knows all right.