Do you ever feel like when you are praying that your prayers aren’t getting past the ceiling of the room? That for some reason or other your words are drifting off into a dark void of the unknown never to fall on the ears of God. You start to second guess all sorts of things; does God even care about this, or is he even listening? Should I be doing something different, asking in some other way? Is there even a God who is there to hear me or am I just sitting in a room talking to myself?
Why Doesn’t God Hear Me
I get so frustrated and disappointed by the perception that my prayers are either not being heard or not cared about. I have been praying for years upon years along with so many others for something, only to be responded to with deafening silence. Some days I just say “well it’s in God’s timing” and that will placate my emotions for the day. Other days I just get frustrated and depressed and wonder what use of praying even is. Every once in a while I will feel like God hears me and I begin to gather hope which is usually followed by crushing defeat. Then there are days I feel like I have all of Jobs friends living in my head telling me I must have done something to sever my lines of communication with God. Is there some unrepentant sin? Which leads me to James 5:16b which says “The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much”, which logically leads to think maybe I am just not righteous enough? This leads to a plethora of self doubt, maybe I should be praying more, maybe I should be fasting, am I praying by faith, am I sincere enough in my prayer, is it according the the will of God? Because it says in the bible in 1John 5:14b “If we ask anything according to his will he will hear us” and John 14:14 Jesus says “If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it”. Well nothing is happening so therefore I must be doing something wrong.
There Is Hope
I know I am not alone in this, and the pebble in my shoe may not compare to your boulder. Maybe you too have been praying for something that is very painful for you. Maybe it is a life controlling addiction, maybe over financial woes where there seems to be no end. It could be the loss of a child, cancer, debilitating pain, severe anxiety, or depression, the list could go on.Does God seem silent to you too? I came across a passage the other day which gave me hope and I hope it does you. It is found in the first chapter of Luke. It reads as follows
Luk 1:5 In the days of Herod, king of Judea, there was a priest named Zechariah, of the division of Abijah. And he had a wife from the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth.
Luk 1:6 And they were both righteous before God, walking blamelessly in all the commandments and statutes of the Lord.
Luk 1:7 But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and both were advanced in years.
Luk 1:8 Now while he was serving as priest before God when his division was on duty,
Luk 1:9 according to the custom of the priesthood, he was chosen by lot to enter the temple of the Lord and burn incense.
Luk 1:10 And the whole multitude of the people were praying outside at the hour of incense.
Luk 1:11 And there appeared to him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense.
Luk 1:12 And Zechariah was troubled when he saw him, and fear fell upon him.
Luk 1:13 But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John.
Luk 1:14 And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth,
If you look closely at this passage it says that Zachariah and Elizabeth were advanced in years. This leads us to believe they must have spent years upon years praying for a child.It may have been as much as 40 years of prayer where God was silent to them. Then one day out of nowhere and Angel appears to Zachariah and says “For your prayer has been heard”. How long must he have been waiting to hear those precious words.
It Actually is in God’s Timing
I am sure they both got frustrated just like you and I get frustrated by the perceived silence of God. But God’s plans are not our plans and he works on his time schedule not ours. While Elizabeth and Zachariah waited and most likely got depressed, got angry and probably wondered if they were praying right. God however was waiting for the right time to bless them in a way that was so far beyond what they could ever imagined. They ended up bearing a son known as John the Baptist, who had the privilege of ushering in the Ministry of Jesus and the great honor of baptizing him in the river Jordan. So when you get frustrated or depressed, just remember God does hear our prayers just like Zachariah and Elizabeth and sometimes he will blow our minds by how he answers them.