In the first place the devil would prefer that we not pray at all. Prayer holds frightful prospects and possibilities for Satan. He understands what we often do not, that prayer at any level acknowledges our need for God and the devil had rather we did not turn to God. As Screwtape tells Woodworm, the best thing to do is to keep them from praying at all. If the “human animals” insist on praying, Woodworms assignment is to “misdirect”.
- First by convincing them that prayer must produce certain feelings and sensations.
- Direct them to say prayers of rite: prayers that are memorized and can be said without thought.
- Direct them to give no credence to posture. It is not necessary to bow the head or bend the knee.
- Make prayer a form of meditation where you do not actually speak words or ask for specific things.
- Create a medium: instead of praying directly to the Father, pray to an icon on the wall or with beads in hand.
Satan’s position on prayer: no prayer at all is best but if the human’s pray, you want them to pray amiss. However, from Satan’s view-point, all prayer is dangerous. He especially fears the association of God’s presence with prayer. The heart-felt prayer of a righteous man has a lot of power with God. Satan doesn’t want any heart-felt prayers.