When God Is Silent
When David prayed he wept, “Oh my God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer, by night, and am not silent” (Psalm 22:2).
Do your prayers ever seem to suspend between your desperate heart and a silent God? The silence of God is like a thick mist, cold and clammy, blurring your surroundings says Leighann McCoy, author of Oh God Please! Help Me With My Doubt.
The Bible is full of stories about men and women who experienced God’s involvement in their lives. In most all the stories these “heroes of the faith” suffered seasons of God’s silence. If you want to learn how to pray through God’s silence, read David’s prayers from the Psalms. As you do so, you will discover some surprising things about prayer (and about David). Consider Psalm 143.
Expect Spiritual Opposition When You Pray
Don’t forget that we invite God to rule and reign in and through our lives when we pray. For this reason, the enemy of your faith is diametrically opposed to prayer. Expect spiritual opposition when you pray. In Psalm 143:3 David listed three ways the enemy was attacking him: The enemy pursues me, he crushes me to the ground; he makes me dwell in darkness like those long dead.”
The enemy pursues you. He is aggressive. He will get up and in your business. The enemy crushes God’s children as often as he can. His ideal way of crushing you is to cause you to question God’s goodness and to challenge His wisdom. He is most effective at doing this when God seems silent. Once he crushes your spirit, the enemy will make you feel as if you are dwelling in darkness like those long dead. To dwell in darkness with those long dead is to live without hope, without faith, without light, without God.
When Your Prayers Seem Ineffective
Leighann McCoy writes in Oh God Please! Help Me With My Doubt : “When God seems silent and your prayer ineffective, take time to remember. David said, ‘I remember the days of long ago; I meditate on all your works and consider what your hands have done. (Psalm 143:5) When God seems silent and your prayers ineffective look around you! Consider the sunrise, the dew on the grass, the birds that greet the morning and the rushing water of the river. When God seems silent and your prayers ineffective look behind you, remember prayers you were desperate for God to answer, and the answers He delivered.”
When God is silent, there is no shame in begging. If there were God would have edited David’s prayer. There is nothing gained by doubting, but there is no shame in begging. David determined to turn to God for relief, then he begged God to give him relief quickly, “Answer me quickly, O Lord…let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you.” (Psalm 143:7-8) David didn’t want to wait forever for God to answer his prayer. He didn’t pray for perseverance or patience; he prayed for God to give him relief.
When you Beg, Beg With Resolve
Just as David begged God to answer his prayer quickly, his tone shifted from one of desperation to a tone of submission. Feel free to beg God for answers but when you do, resolve to trust Him, to wait on Him, to hide yourself in Him, to follow Him and to serve Him. This is what David did (see Psalm 143:8-10). In between the time that you pray and the time that God answers, walk in God’s ways. Be a diligent student of God’s will and follow Him on level ground. To walk on level ground is to let God’s Word lead your way. Don’t let emotions pave your path.
Much of our desire for prayer is motivated by a desire for change, and most likely the change we are looking for is a change in someone or something else. We want our husbands to be more loving or our children to be more Christ-centered. We want our work to be more productive or our bank accounts more cushioned. We want health and wealth and the list goes on. David prayed in Psalm 143 for change, or more specifically for relief. As David asked God to change his circumstances and his enemies, God in turn changed David. He was consumed with what was happening around him, but God turned David’s attention to what was happening within (and above) him. And that is what prayer does.
Oh God Please! Help Me With My Doubt
In his book, Leighann McCoy examines the doubts we face when we pray. As we learn to pray through God’s silence, we also learn how to pray through our doubts of His power, His concern, His wisdom and His plan. Oh God Please! Help Me With My Doubt is published by Freeman-Smith, a division of Worthy Publishers.
Posted on September 18, 2012, in Morning Glory! and tagged Beliefnet.com, Bible, christianity, church, eVotional, faith, God, holy spirit, inspiration, motivation, religion, spirituality, theology. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.