I’m so sorry for your hurt. I know it is painful.
Perhaps someone close to you in your life has hurt you or abandoned you, and you can’t help but feel that God has abandoned you as well.
You pray, but you don’t see answers. You cry out to God, but you don’t hear anything back. You search and search for something to hold onto, but you can’t seem to find anything stable enough to stabilize you.
Deep inside, you can’t help but wonder, “Where is God in all of this?”
Some people have probably tried to answer that question for you. They have reminded you that “God doesn’t give us anything beyond what we can handle” (which isn’t what the Bible says) and that “God has a plan and a purpose for your future.”
These people mean well. But sometimes what you need when you’re hurting is someone to simply listen to you, to validate your feelings, and to walk alongside you.
I’m not going to try and explain the theology behind why God allows suffering or when God chooses to intervene in situations because I don’t know. God is too grand and too sovereign for me to understand His ways.
However, I have felt the pain of feeling that God is silent.
In fact, most of my life I felt that God was silent. I would go to Him for answers on life-changing decisions, and I wouldn’t get an answer on what I should do. I would pray for God to change a situation, and it seemed nothing happened. I began to become immune to prayer. I concluded that it must be more for my own sound mind than a way to tug on God’s heartstrings.
I’m not the only one who has felt this way. Even in Mother Teresa’s journals, she consistently wrestled with the feeling that God was silent towards her. Even with all of the homeless people she fed, children she loved, and lost that she led to Jesus, she felt abandoned by God.
From my own experiences with my marriage, with major life decisions, with endlessly seeking answers to prayers, I realized an unshakable truth: Feelings don’t change facts.
Look at this from a marriage perspective. Some days I don’t feel like I like my husband. However, that doesn’t change the fact that I am married to him and committed to him. Therefore, the way that I feel about my husband should not change the way that I treat him and interact with him. I should continue to be loving and faithful.
Some days I feel like God is silent or that He is not listening to my prayers. However, just as with Mother Teresa, that should not change the facts that God is good, God is loving, and God is faithful. Furthermore, it shouldn’t change the fact that I should continue doing the right thing…even if I don’t feel like it.
The Turning Point
However, at the beginning of this year (2015), I decided I was going to get more serious about prayer. Even though I didn’t feel like my prayers were answered, I also realized that perhaps I wasn’t the best judge of whether or not God answered my prayers. I pray about something, life gets busy. The prayer gets answered, which takes away the groaning desire to pray about it. I forget that I ever prayed about it, and I never thank God for what He did.
All of that is my fault, not God’s fault.
So I started a prayer journal.
Of all the things that this year has brought, the best part of it was starting a prayer journal. Each week, I would write down everything weighing on my mind: relationally, financially, physically, spiritually, mentally, emotionally…the list goes on.
I did this every single week. Then I would go back every couple of weeks and look at the prayers of weeks passed. More times than not, I realized God had answered that prayer, and I had forgotten about it. That doesn’t mean that He answered my prayers the way I imagined them being answered – but answered them He did.
At the end of the year, I was left with my most treasured possession: a whole entire year of God showing me that He is not silent. He does speak. He still moves. He’s still active in my life.
If you are interested in starting a prayer journal, I’ve created one just for you. You can order it below through Amazon.
We are releasing it on Amazon just in time for the Christmas season:
You may not be a Christian. You may be unsure about the practice of prayer. I encourage you to thoughtfully consider starting a prayer journal. God is pursuing you.
Remember this: Prayer moves God, and when God is moved, God moves mountains.