God wants to hear us, and while He is doing that, He is in His moment of silence. In those moments, sometimes we feel that our prayers never reach Him. Or we might think that God already ignored our prayers. Does He? What do we do when we know that we have prayed with all our heart and soul and with complete faith, and have done everything we need to do, knowing that we do not ask anything that is outside His will, yet there is still no answers from God? We all gone through experiences such as our love ones are still sick in the hospital, we are still having financial difficulties and the needed help did not come to us. We have already come to ask in faith, but God is not saying anything.
What do we do when this happens to us? Will we do something or nothing like most people do? Don’t be sure that God’s silence is His final answer. And His silence will mean to us that we need to stop asking or praying. If we think we have done everything right, and have made our petitions in faith, consider His silence as an invitation to approach Him and talk the matter over. If our faith is on the line, it is perfectly normal to ask why God is not answering. If we have prayed in faith, then we should not cease in asking why God’s answer is negative, or why He is very silent. God truly wants to talk with us because we are His children. Jer 33:3 “Call to me, and I will answer you; I will tell you wonderful and marvelous things that you know nothing about.
So pray without ceasing and don’t give up until God answers us one way or another; pray until we are sure. Some may view such persistent seeking of God’s attention as a lack of faith, but the truth is, the Bible is full of examples of such persistence. And those who have been persistent with God have been rewarded with His love and favor.
Can we recall the story of the two blind men who were sitting by the road when Jesus came up from Jericho? They cried out for Jesus to have mercy on them, but those in the crowd who were following Jesus tried to silence the blind men. What was their response to the warnings of those in the crowd? They cried out all the louder. Jesus was so impressed by their persistence that He had compassion on them and healed their blindness (Matthew 20:29-34).
Mat 20:29 As Jesus and his disciples were leaving Jericho, a large crowd was following. Mat 20:30 Two blind men who were sitting by the road heard that Jesus was passing by, so they began to shout, “Son of David! Have mercy on us, sir!” Mat 20:31 The crowd scolded them and told them to be quiet. But they shouted even more loudly, “Son of David! Have mercy on us, sir!” Mat 20:32 Jesus stopped and called them. “What do you want me to do for you?” he asked them. Mat 20:33 “Sir,” they answered, “we want you to give us our sight!” Mat 20:34 Jesus had pity on them and touched their eyes; at once they were able to see, and they followed him.
Imagine the course of history if Jacob had said, “Alright, I quit,” when the Lord told him to let go. Genesis 32:24-29 records the most important wrestling match in history. Jacob wrestles with one whom he identifies as God; they struggle in each other’s grasp until daybreak. As the day dawns, the Lord says to Jacob, “Let me go, for the day breaks.” Though injured and probably exhausted, Jacob tells the Lord, “Nothing doing.” “I will not let You go unless You bless me,” (v. 25) he replies. The Lord is not upset by Jacob’s persistence; rather, He rewards it because it pleases Him. “ . . . And He blessed him there” (v. 29).
In this passage Jacob clearly shows his faith by his persistence. Because he was willing to actively engage God, he was rewarded. On the other hand, if he had refused to take on God in a fight, that would have been the same as withdrawing from God’s presence, and there would have been no blessing. Surely we find in Jacob’s struggle the meaning of Jesus’ statement:
God expects active engagement from His children. Remember also that Jesus tells us to plead our case before the Father with relentless persistence until we receive His favor. Jesus says we must be like the widow before the unjust judge (Luke 18:1-8). He states, “And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him though He bears long with them” (v. 7). In other words, though God does not always answer immediately, He will answer if we don’t give up. Our persistence is the evidence of our faith.
Are there other reasons why God is silent in our prayers?
Sometimes, even if we ask fervently and faithfully, God remains to be silent. There are times that if we examine it carefully, no matter how hard we pray, God will surely ignore our prayers. When will God do this?
There are times when we might as well not ask because He will not listen to us. One of those times is when we are consciously know we are at sin. If sometimes we don’t know that we are doing sinful things, He will surely find ways to let us know that we are doing wrong and that we need to stop it. He will even give us extra help to free ourselves from sin.
If, however, we have been doing what we know very well is contrary to His will but hardheadedly refuse to stop, don’t expect an answer when we pray because the answer is already “no.” God does not hear sinners (Isa 59:1 Don’t think that the LORD is too weak to save you or too deaf to hear your call for help! Isa 59:2 It is because of your sins that he doesn’t hear you. It is your sins that separate you from God when you try to worship him. Isa 59:3 You are guilty of lying, violence, and murder ).
If a sinner repents, there is much rejoicing in heaven, and God surely will help that person out because repentance is what He is looking for from the sinner. So, if our conscience has been bothering us about something we have been doing, it is probably God telling us to cease and desist. Only then can we count on God to hear our petitions. After all, what parent would grant his child favors if the child refused to heed the parent’s instructions. It’s that simple.
Another type of behavior that turns God off is unforgiveness. Jesus made it very clear that those who refused to forgive should not expect to receive forgiveness from God. “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses” (Matthew 6:14-15).
The reason for this should become obvious if we stop and think about it. By submitting Himself to torture and death, Jesus paid the price to obtain God’s forgiveness for everyone who will become part of His body, the Church of God. Now we don’t have to die to pay for our sins.
If He was willing to give so much so that we could have forgiveness, should we not be willing to grant forgiveness to others? By comparison with what Christ did for us, our forgiveness of all others who have wronged us is indeed a small matter.
Don’t nurture and pamper the hurts and offenses we have suffered at the hands of others. Don’t let the sun go down on our anger; it will give the devil an opening into our lives (Eph 4:26 If you become angry, do not let your anger lead you into sin, and do not stay angry all day. Eph 4:27 Don’t give the Devil a chance). Settle the differences quickly, make amends to the extent we are able, and forgive others seventy times seven (Matthew 18:22).
Wait there’s more.
There is another way of guaranteeing that we will not get the attention we want from God. That is, to be arrogant or proud. Although pride or arrogance could certainly be placed under the category of sin, it is an attitude so offensive to God that we could be doing everything else right and find ourselves being opposed by God if we are proud. “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6).
In fact, of those things in man that God finds most detestable, at the top of the list is arrogance. “These six things the Lord hates. Yes, seven are an abomination to Him: A proud look,…” (Proverbs 6:16).
Any decent parent is repulsed by a display of pride or arrogance in one of his children, and God is no different. So we better check our attitudes. Be sure that we are not displaying an attitude of superiority toward others. Make sure that we esteem others as better than ourselves (Php 2:3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Php 2:4 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others). That is, put the needs of others ahead of our own. That is the best antidote for pride.
There is much more that could be said about those actions and attitudes which block communication with our Father, but most of the problems we encounter fall into the three categories mentioned: sin, unforgiveness, and pride. So, do as the Apostle Paul admonishes, and examine yourself frequently (2Co 13:5 Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates? )
Make sure the line of communications to God stays open …