Let’s consider the words of the Apostle Paul regarding praying in tongues.  He says in 1 Corinthians 14:14-17, “For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful. What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also. Else when thou shalt bless with the spirit, how shall he that occupieth the room of the unlearned say Amen at thy giving of thanks, seeing he understandeth not what thou sayest? For thou verily givest thanks well, but the other is not edified.”

Paul is expressing here the futility of praying or singing in tongues in a public forum.  He points out that if he should pray in an unknown language (which is the proper translation of the word ‘tongue’), that no one would be able to understand his words.  Therefore, one who had no knowledge of that language could not say ‘Amen’ when Paul prayed.  To say ‘Amen’ is to agree with what is being prayed.  ‘Amen’ literally means ‘so be it’, so to add an Amen to another’s prayer is to say that you desire the same as what is being prayed.  If you have no idea what the speaker is saying, you could not assent that the prayer is correct.  As is pointed out in verse 17, ‘the other is not edified’.  We learn from Romans 15:2 that we should seed to edify others.  That says, “Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification.”

From all this, we get the idea that praying in tongues has no merit or value to it.  Can Satan hear and understand our words if we pray in an unknown language?  I suppose it is possible, but we need to realize that Satan cannot be everywhere at one time.  That is described as being omnipresent and ONLY the Lord bears that characteristic.  Satan can only be in one place at a time, so it would be so rare for him to be listening to your prayers.

Even if Satan did hear and understand your prayers, that doesn’t mean that he can interfere.  It’s important to know that the Lord hears our prayers every single time we pray.  He IS omnipresent and His ear is leaned toward us to hear our petitions.  A few verses to show the truth of this are:

* Exodus 22:23, “If thou afflict them in any wise, and they cry at all unto me, I WILL SURELY HEAR their cry.”

*2 Chronicles 7:14, “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; THEN WILL I HEAR from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”

* Psalm 55:17, “Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice.”

Before closing, I think it appropriate to point out one hindrance to the Lord hearing the prayers of His saints.  Psalm 66:18, “If I cherished sin in my heart, the Lord wouldn’t have listened.” (WEB) If we love sin and refuse to turn from it, it could cause the Lord to refuse to hear our prayers.  May we be quick to repent and confess our sins so that the line of communication with the Lord stays open and healthy.  1 John 1:9 tells us that, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”  (358.4)