Have you ever had times when you feel like God is silent? Like your prayers are just bouncing off the ceiling and not landing in His ear? I know I have and those times of my life have been some of the hardest to reconcile with my firm belief that God is intimately involved in my day to day life. From the words in Psalm 83, it sounds like Asaph was acquainted with God’s silence as well.
I’ve had times in my life that have felt so painful and times where I’ve felt utterly alone. During those times, I’ve cried out to God. Sometimes for justice when I’ve felt wronged, sometimes for vindication when I’ve felt maligned and sometimes just for comfort and ease of pain. Sometimes I’ve felt God’s immediate response to fill and uplift me, but other times, I’ve experienced His silence. But, even in the silence, I’ve learned.
I firmly believe that God hears every single prayer that I utter but I also understand that, as any good parent, His answer is not always yes. He knows more of the picture than I do and sometimes His no is ultimately for my protection. But there are times that He just wants me to wait and trust Him.
So, what do we do with God’s silence? Here are a few things that I have done and that I would suggest for you to try:
Re-evaluate my request. In the heat of the moment in pouring my heart out honestly to God, I may ask for things that I know are really not reflective of the way He operates.
Go back to the last thing I heard from Him. Sometimes, when I’m praying about undertaking something new, He may want me to stay right where I am. Sometimes, there are things He wants me to learn that I haven’t fully gotten yet.
Ask Him to search my heart for anything that I need to repent of. Confession should be part of our daily relationship with God and I need the Holy Spirit to help me see things that I don’t on my own.
Trust His heart even when I don’t feel His direction. The more I know and experience God as my loving Father, the more I understand that He is constantly at work in my life and the work He is doing is ultimately for my good, even when it’s painful.
Executive Director of Education and Outreach