One of the questions of people who want to learn how to pray is: why does God seem to be silent at times.
Most of us have experienced what seemingly appears to be God’s silence. We pray, but our prayers seem to bounce back unheard. We want to hear from
God, but it looks like He’s giving us the silent treatment. So we wonder where
God is – or even if He’s there at all.
So, why does God seem to be silent at times?
The keyword here is the word ‘seem’ because in a lot of times, God is not really silent, the silence is not for real. We only think He is silent. And why is that?
One reason is we have stopped listening. We can’t hear God because we have allowed the worries and cares and distractions of this world to plug our spiritual ears.
Another reason is there are times when there is just too much noise in our lives which assaults our senses so much that we cannot hear the voice of God. We are constantly badgered by technology like emails, cell phones, mp3 players, a schedule that’s too hectic, and even too much clutter in our own minds that we are unable to think clearly.
Unconfessed or persistent sin also puts a plug on our spiritual ears so that even when God is talking, we can’t hear him. When we turn to him in repentance and confess our sin, then God by His grace removes the plug from our ears. We soon find out that he has been talking to us all along, we just couldn’t or wouldn’t hear him.
Another reason why God seems silent is we have neglected His Word. God speaks to us through His word and so we should spend time reading and understanding His word.
What if God is really silent? What could be the reason? The following words from Oswald Chambers in “My Outmost For His Highest” are very comforting. He said:
“When you cannot hear God, you will find that He has trusted you in the most intimate way possible — with absolute silence, not a silence of despair, but one of pleasure, because He saw that you could withstand an even bigger revelation.”
From these words, it is apparent that God trusts us to trust Him that despite
His silence, we will not waver in faith because we know that there is a divine purpose to His silence, which is greater than we can ever imagine.
Recall the story about Lazarus and his sisters, Mary and Martha. They were close friends of Jesus and so when Lazarus got very sick, his sisters sent word to our Lord to come and heal him. But what did Jesus do? Did He drop whatever He was doing and rush to Bethany where Lazarus was? No. He stayed 2 more days in the place where He was. You can just imagine the anxiety of Martha and Mary while they waited for Jesus. They must have expected Him to come right away. And when He didn’t, they must have thought that He didn’t care.
Aren’t we like that sometimes? When we prayed and prayed and there seems to be no response from God, we think that He doesn’t care, that it’s useless to pray because He doesn’t respond anyway.
So going back to the story, when Jesus finally came, Lazarus was already dead. Both sisters had the same sentiment. They told Him, “If you had been here, my brother would not have died.” It’s like saying ‘where were you when we needed you’. And as you all know, what happened afterwards was Jesus raised Lazarus to life. Mary and Martha and the other people who were there witnessed the power of God. They saw the glory of God.
About the Author
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