Question:

Dear Jeffrey,

I have a couple of questions about prayer.

  1. Is it OK to pray in your mind if you are someplace where it is not convenient to do so by speaking the words?
  2. Is it wrong to pray with a cap on your head (if you are a man)?

Answer:

When dedicating the temple, Solomon prayed, "whatever prayer, whatever supplication is made by anyone, or by all Your people Israel, when each one knows the plague of his own heart, and spreads out his hands toward this temple: then hear in heaven Your dwelling place, and forgive, and act, and give to everyone according to all his ways, whose heart You know (for You alone know the hearts of all the sons of men), that they may fear You all the days that they live in the land which You gave to our fathers" (I Kings 8:38-40). Therefore, only God knows our thoughts. "You know when I sit down and when I rise up; You understand my thought from afar" (Psalms 139:2). He knows what you plan to say before you actually speak the words. "Even before there is a word on my tongue, Behold, O LORD, You know it all" (Psalms 139:4). Whether pray out loud or in your mind, God is able to know what you are praying.

In regards to praying with a cap on your head, the passage of concern is: "Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonors his head" (I Corinthians 11:4). Since the head of man is Christ, a man praying with his head covered is dishonoring Christ. The reason for this rule according to Paul is, "For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God" (I Corinthians 11:7).

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