Mid-week Boost
Comments 14

Are Afflictions Wordless Prayers?

“Tears are words that need to be written.” — Paulo Coelho

And the angel of the Lord said unto her, Behold, thou art with child, and shalt bear a son, and shalt call his name Ishmael; because the Lord hath heard thy affliction. Genesis‬ ‭16‬:‭11‬ KJV)

This is one of the strangest verses I have ever seen in the Bible. On a human level, we cannot hear affliction. We can feel it and other times see it. To hear affliction is unthinkable, at least in my finite mind.

We usually hear about how God saw the afflictions or heard the cries of his people in their afflictions. But we almost never read about him hearing our afflictions. This must be a thing that God alone can do.

Could it be that all our afflictions are wordless prayers that God hears? Could it be that our afflictions are supposed to be louder than our voices lifted up in prayer during times of affliction?

I want to believe that an affliction is a reflection of a need. A need is a wordless prayer that God hears and responds to.

In Genesis 16:11 Haggar is completely overwhelmed by afflictions. It doesn’t say anything about her saying a prayer. It simply says That God heard her affliction and responded with a promise.

In John 4, Jesus had to go through Samaria. I believe he was moved by the need of a very conflicted, afflicted woman. She could not have offered any prayers because she simply didn’t pray. Yet, Jesus was moved by her need.

We spend too much time asking God to help us and get us out of our afflictions. But could it be that all our loud prayers are probably not necessary because he already heard our affliction?

Writing the above paragraph was very hard, it almost sounds like a heresy. The reason, I think, is because we are accustomed to the idea of crying out to the Lord. We are conditioned to the custom of asking, seeking and knocking, even though we know he knows what’s on our mind before we even ask.

The eyes of the LORD are toward the righteous and his ears toward their cry. The face of the LORD is against those who do evil, to cut off the memory of them from the earth. When the righteous cry for help, the LORD hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him out of them all.
Psalms 34:15-19

The Lord loves to hear the cries of the righteous, He is always near the broken hearted. But I also believe that the afflictions of His children are wordless prayers that draw the heart of a loving God to act on their behalf.

Whatever your afflictions are today, you have a double assurance. He won’t only hear your cries in the middle of your affection; he already heard your wordless prayer and is coming to your rescue.

This entry was posted in: Mid-week Boost


There are three things I think about every moment of everyday... they consume me deeply. How to: 1. Refine my theological understanding 2. sharpen my ethical rigor 3. and heighten my devotional intensity. These are the things I write about. Welcome you to my blog... Join me on this incredible journey of exploration and discovery of all the things God has in store for His children. Join by following or subscribing. I appreciate your thoughts, comments and friendship. Walter


  1. I love this! God hears my afflictions. Such a gift that even when I don’t actually pray anything, He hears. I still pray though, because I enter a deeper relationship, but it’s good to know He cares so deeply. thanks

    Liked by 1 person

    • yes! He care so deeply. I am glad you said that, because that’s the truth about our Father… He cares deeply!

      Thank you so much for adding value to the post by your comment.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Amen! I’m so glad to hear that… It is always my prayer to be used by him. So I am glad to hear you kind words. Thanks a Million! Stay blessed!


  2. grammatteus says

    At times of great distress, sometimes I cannot find words. I hate public praying since I cannot latch onto the… for want of a better word, the cllchés that everyone else uses in prayer meetings. My prayers sound so unconventional, I’m conscious of it. I put it down to my unofficial autism, that doesn’t pick up on social cues that everyone else falls into naturally, so calling prayers clichéd is unfair.

    But yes, your thought does have scriptural backing:
    In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. (Rom. 8:26). Paul also talks of how we ‘groan inwardly’ as we ‘await the redemption of our bodies’ (the resurrection). Often I just groan in his presence, sometimes it is even so inward that it is silent.

    However, I have heard people say that we do not need to pray since God knows our needs anyway. No! We are admonished to intercede for others, make our petitions to him, pray continually… My take on it is that if I focus more on the needs of others (intercede), God will hear my prayers more effectively, so I should not pray selfishly, but I do bring my problems to him. I rest in the knowledge that even when I neglect to pray, he DOES hear my affliction anyway, his grace is so perfect.

    Thank you for that thought.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Walter
    Some good points here.
    “Just as the Lord loves to hear the cries of the righteous” I think leads to the point that when we praise and adore Him and try to live righteously then He responds to our unsaid needs and afflictions, because he knows how much love we have for Him. Maybe what you are trying to say is that the righteous do not need to fill their prayers up with their needs, He already knows them, but with praise and the needs of others.

    Liked by 2 people

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