The Power of Crying Out, (Does God need to literally hear our voices?) part 6
There are basically two reasons Gothard gives for why he thinks audible prayer is more effective than silent prayer. First, God can hear audible prayer, and second, spoken words have power.
In chapter 2, Gothard developes his case that "God actually hears us" (p. 22) and he apparently means that in the most wooden literal sense. He cites scripture after scripture showing that when people used their voices, God heard them. The implication is that God literally heard them because they literally made sounds with their voices. On page 18, he asks, "Do you ever wonder why some of your prayers don't seem to reach 'the ears of God'?" The implication is that our prayers don't reach the 'ears of God' because we aren't praying audibly. Notice the use of italics to emphasize his points when he quotes Daniel 9:17-19:
Now therefore, our God, hear the prayer of Your servant, and his supplications....O my God, incline your ear and hear; open Your eyes and see our desolations, and the city which is called by Your name....O Lord, hear! O Lord, forgive! O Lord, listen and act! Do not delay for Your own sake, my God, for Your city and Your people are called by Your name.Another example is Psalm 18:6, which says, "In my distress I called upon the LORD and cried to my God for help; he heard my voice out of his temple, and my cry for help before him came into his ears."
Since God doesn't literally have ears, it's obvious that this passage is figurative. To hear somebody doesn't mean to literally perceive audible sounds. Since God is all-knowing, he knows everything everybody is saying, and yet the Bible tells us there are occasions when God does not hear prayers (Isaiah 59:2). Obviously, then "to hear" means to respond or to be moved to action, not to perceive sounds. This same sense of "hearing" is used in John 8:45,47 where Jesus said, "But because I speak the truth, you do not believe me....He who is of God hears the words of God; for this reason you do not hear them, because you are not of God." In this context, the crowd had no problem literally hearing what Jesus was saying. But they could not accept what he was saying as true. It is in that sense that Jesus said they do not hear the words of God. Jesus also uses this same sense of "hearing" in John 10:27 when he says, "My sheep hear my voice." Obviously, everybody can literally hear Jesus' voice during his ministry, but only his sheep are able to believe and respond to it. That includes you and me. We never even literally hear the voice of Jesus, and yet because we are his sheep, we hear his voice in the sense that we recognize that Jesus is our Lord, and we follow him.
to be continued...