As believers, we are called to pray. But what happens when it feels like our prayers have fallen on deaf ears? What does it mean if we don’t hear from God? And how should we respond?
In high school, I experienced my first battle with anxiety attacks. I didn’t understand what was happening or why it was happening — all I knew was that I was not in control and I desperately needed God’s help.
So I began to pray, no, beg, for deliverance. I remember staring at the floor of our church sanctuary as I cried out to my Savior on my knees: God I need you. I give my life to you. Please answer me. Please take all of this away.
Days turned into weeks. Weeks turned into months. Months turned into a full year. And still, nothing but silence.
I felt like a shipwrecked soul, sinking in a sea of confusion, sadness, anger and bitterness.
And that’s when I found Psalm 13.
As one of David’s shorter psalms, you might miss it if you were flipping through your Bible, but in those days, and even still today, I can’t take my eyes from it. David writes:
1 How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
2 How long must I wrestle with my thoughts
and day after day have sorrow in my heart?
How long will my enemy triumph over me?
3 Look on me and answer, Lord my God.
Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death,
4 and my enemy will say, “I have overcome him,”
and my foes will rejoice when I fall.
5 But I trust in your unfailing love;
my heart rejoices in your salvation.
6 I will sing the Lord’s praise,
for he has been good to me.
Never has a passage of Scripture comforted and convicted me more than Psalm 13. I was comforted, because I knew I was not alone in my despair. My cries of desperation mirrored every single word in verses 1-4. On the other hand, my heart was deeply convicted. Because in the silence that followed my desperate pleas, unlike David, I had failed to trust God.
Prayer is a conversation, and like most conversations in today’s day and age, responses are appreciated. Think about the last time you asked your girlfriend if she wanted to go to lunch. Did she wait five months to get back to you? Probably not!
Whether it’s a text, email, or Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Voxer message, we live in a culture that expects an answer — and fast.
But when we look at the Bible, we see that God’s answers often don’t come quickly at all. Instead, prayers and dreams are first met with silence.
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