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Expert Answer Forum

by Catherine Frakas 22 May 2003

Silent prayers QUESTION from Don February 1, 2000 I have just finished Bondage Breaker by Neil Anderson as you recommended on this forum. In that book, Dr. Anderson states that satan and his demons cannot read minds and only God can read the mind. He says that prayers to cast out demons and free people from demonic strongholds must, therefore, be said aloud so the demon or satan can hear the command. Given Dr. Andersons's statements on this, would you say that our prayers to St. Michael, our guardian angel, other saints, the Blessed Virgin, etc. must be said aloud to be heard by them?
Thanks for our thoughts on this and for your forum.
ANSWER by John-Paul Ignatius, O.L.S.M. on February 6, 2000 Mr. Don:
Bondage Breaker is a great book, but we must remember that Neil Anderson is a Protestant. His insight into the is area is remarkably Catholic in many ways, but he is still a Protestant and thus will not necessarily have all the insight, and the wealth of knowledge that is the Church’s when he write about demonology.
The teaching of the Church and the saints, especially St. Aquinas among others, we know that it is true that only God can read minds. Neither our minds or our wills can be forced by demons or angels.
But you can will to reveal your thoughts and your secrets to your guardian angel by talking to him, by praying like you would do to a saint.
While demons and angels cannot read our minds they can influence us and inspire our imaginations – which is why we are to guard our senses.
The way in which demons and angels can influence our minds is by the same ways you and I may influence each other’s mind – by teaching, counseling, praising, blaming, commanding, etc.
Neither angels or demons influence our minds directly or through telepathy. Rather they inspire us or tempt us.
They cannot force, but they can manipulate us through imagination and emotions. Again, one reason why emotion must always be checked by reason.
Bottom line, no they cannot read minds. Yes, angels can hear our silent prayers because we choose to let them and God allows it.
If however one is attacked by a demon and cannot speak the prayers audibly to tell the demon to leave, our intent that the demon hear us would be granted by God and the demon would hear us.
However, we never have to talk to demons anyway. We can merely pray to God to get rid of the demon. God certainly hears our silent prayers.
On the flip-side of this, I do a lot of praying and thinking out loud. I think that God protects those outward vocal prayers from being heard by Satan and his minions because I am choosing to have only God, or the saints, hear what I am saying.
So the Cell Phone problem where your voice is broadcast over radio waves for anyone with a receiver to hear will not work in this case. God will encrypt the message, sort-to-speak, to prevent eavesdropping ears from listening and understanding.
That is my belief anyway.
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