Question 005

So prayer is more than words?

Let the “inner man” in whom Christ dwells by faith (Eph. 3:17) cry out to the Lord, not with the noise of lips alone, but with the affection of the heart…Unless you cry out to the Lord with your thought, the Lord does not hear you.

from St. Augustine Answers 101 Questions on Prayer by Fr. Ermatinger.


Man’s exterior actions must be in harmony with his interior acts; if it is not, there is disorder present.  When a man prays to the Lord, it is right that he prays with his exterior voice; with lips and voice reaching their crescendo in the prayers of the liturgy of the Church.  However, if this act does not spring from the internal voice of man, the motion that he goes through is only lip service; song technically correct but without heart.  It is not enough that august prayers of the Church be said but they must be made the individual’s own prayer stemming from his own interior voice and own heart. In this inner man Christ dwells by faith, and it is from here that Christ hears, which is to say answers, the prayer of the praying man by giving to him that which is sought; that is preparation for and communion with Himself.

at Prayer (beim Gebet) by Edwin Longsden Long