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This question applies to silent prayers.

In order for a prayer to be made properly, must the praying person "voice" or otherwise "articulate" every word of the prayer in his/her "mind's ear?" Or, rather, is it acceptable to pray by "concept," "feeling," "in the heart" or any other non-verbal method?

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  • @Danno: Am I correct to interpret these links to mean that silent prayer is never allowed except in the case of inability due to health? – Mowzer Sep 13 '15 at 3:22
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    I have no doubt that there are other exceptions, but the general point is that even "silent" prayer is not silent. – rosends Sep 13 '15 at 3:32
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    @Mowzer There is nothing wrong with silent prayer (in fact, it's good in addition to verbal prayer). The question is whether one can fulfill one's formal obligation to pray via silent prayer (the general ruling is that one cannot). Even in the case of someone who is incapacitated and cannot verbalize the prayers, I seem to recall that either the Mishna B'rura or R' Moshe Feinstein noted that this is not because we are relying on the rejected opinion that this satisfies the obligation for prayer. Rather, it is more of a symbolic activity so that the prayers are not forgotten altogether. – Fred Sep 13 '15 at 4:49
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    If you're asking what I think you're asking, then judaism.stackexchange.com/a/27801 may answer it. – msh210 Sep 13 '15 at 6:15
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As @fred said

Shulchan aruch harav 101.4

 > המתפלל בלחש ולא השמיע יצא אבל אם התפלל בלבו ולא הוציא בשפתיו לא יצא שהרהור אינו כדיבור

the one that prays quietly and did not hear (himself, as he needs to) fulfilled his obligation, but if he prayed in his heart (mind) and did not take it out with his lips he did not fulfill his obligation, since thought is not "like" speech

See mogain avrochom 101.2 (Which the shulchan aruch harav above saw before writing his shulchan aruch)

Where he explaines that it needs more research (it is questionable) if praying in the heart counts

And that theoretically it should be enough if he prayed in his heart (mind without using his lips), since prayer is "the service of the heart" and Hashem "know the thoughts of the heart"

But from the gemoro it seems that it does not count


So to be sure that it is proper you should say it with your Voice

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