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Some context: I am deaf, though I can hear because of cochlear implants. As I have been able to hear since I was about 6.5 years old, I have an internal voice like pretty much every single normally-hearing person. Hence, when I pray, I typically pray with words. However, recently, my former roommate came to Christ, and I found out that he communicates with God through images, because he doesn't have an internal voice. Rather, he thinks - and therefore prays - in a visual manner. Given that the books of the Bible were written entirely (presumably) by people who were hearing, I'm curious as to whether there is any record in the Bible of a person praying in a visual way.

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up vote 7 down vote accepted

Very interesting question! One thing you might want to think about specifically with regard to finding examples in the Bible is visions -- those are usually God communicating to us, but it's a similar type of thing -- what is often done with words is instead done with images. Ezekiel's vision of the valley of the dry bones, for example.

If you're comfortable going beyond "just in the Bible" I would suggest google searching "visio divina". It is based on lectio divina which is a very old technique of meditating on scripture verses, but it also incorporates visual prayer.

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Welcome to the site. This is a great first answer. I like the point on visions being a visual means of communication (albeit two way in some cases, or at least the opposite direction mentioned in the question). But excellent ideas here. – wax eagle Mar 2 '13 at 14:59

I doubt that. I remember from many sermons (on Gospel records of Jesus curing some mute/deaf person, such as Mark 7:32-37) that mute and deaf were considered unable to pray and even unable to believe by Jews.

I found two verses supporting this theory:

Isaiah 29:18

In that day the deaf will hear the words of the scroll, and out of gloom and darkness the eyes of the blind will see.

Romans 10:17

Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.

Both mean roughly the same: without hearing the Law or the Gospel, you can't believe. With ability to read, sign language and other ways to communicate this is not true, but these ways were hard to imagine for people of that times.

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I am not deaf myself but I suspect that 'hear' and 'listen' do not necessarily mean with your ears to both the deaf and hearing. I would figure the same for ancient peoples. I think you are making a pretty big assumption (Jews believed the deaf unable to believe) with very little support that is shaky at best. If you can provide more, either from the bible or other texts, I would think this a better answer. – fredsbend Mar 1 '13 at 1:39

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