Love God

Silence after Prayer

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Just because it is silent after a prayer doesn’t mean God is not listening. Nor does it mean God approves of what it is you are praying for. In the rush of decision making nowadays, we want an answer immediately. As a Christian though, I want to pray about decisions before making them, especially for the larger ones. On the surface, this seems like the right thing to do. However, praying before doing is actually the easy part because it is routine.

The difficult part often comes next, if that is, you actually wait for an answer. If you are like me, many times you only wait five minutes. If not given an answer in that amount of time, then certainly God must be okay with it, right? If it were only that easy. However, it usually never is. Sometimes we allow the noise around us to overtake the still small voice inside us. How would you feel if you were trying to speak, and someone continually allowed your voice to be drowned out? What if you were trying to speak to them and they suddenly turned up volume of the radio or television?

It would be downright arrogant and foolish to think that God always sided with our decisions. The sad part of it is, we always hold Him accountable for when it doesn’t work out right. Sometimes I wonder, if right before we’re about to do something stupid, God whispers not to do it. Then, when we panic in our own foolishness, God waits for us to seek Him out for the answer. In the meantime, we turn to everything under the sun, which He created, for answers. Finally, at the end of it all, we say, “I guess all we can do now is pray.”

That attitude about prayer makes me cringe. What makes me angrier, is that I’ve said it myself. For me, I genuinely believe in the God I am praying to, which in effect means I believe in the power of prayer. Prayer is difficult to explain to someone who has never done it before. I have a friend from China that once commented that praying was like talking to the air. If you stop and think about it, talking literally is – talking to the air. The difference is in who you think is listening or not.

When you talk out loud to another person, there are various kinds of responses they could give. If they were in another room and you spoke out loud, if no response came, would you assume no one was there? If you heard an audible voice, you would know someone was there even though you could not see them. If a person was far enough away, you could still see them, but no longer hear them. If you were flying high in a plane, you would not see, hear, or be able to touch them; yet there they could be.

Last night, I was driving and saw a young man parked next to the road standing next to a monument of flowers at a place where he lost someone to a car accident. In a moment’s notice, I was touched by his pain. The man was completely unaware of me yet reached inside my soul and grabbed my heart and gave it a squeeze. I turned the radio off and prayed for him.

Crying eyes communicate sorrow. A genuine smile communicates joy and happiness. The point is, there are tons of ways to communicate but it takes a great deal of effort to learn how. Imagine how hard it would be to communicate your thoughts, feelings, and desires if you only knew ten words. When you know twenty thousand words, you can tell a different story. But to learn that many words, one must get ready for a long learning curve! If you sincerely desire to communicate with another, then you will put forth the effort to do so.

When reading the Bible, it tells me about who God is. When I read the New Testament, it tells of God took on the human form as Jesus. He walked among us, talked with us, cried with us, and gave us hope. He healed the sick and blind, and set captives free. He blessed the poor and meek in spirit. He preached that there was a way of restoration to the precious relationship with God the Father, and that He was that way.

In the mornings, I see the glory of a new sunrise. I witness the uniqueness of every living organism scattered throughout the earth, some of which the human eye still has not witnessed. At night I look toward the heavens and witness the vastness of an unimaginable universe filled with galaxies and stars. Meanwhile the moon perfectly balances out our planet, controlling the tides of the oceans. Under a microscope, a whole new world explodes right before my eyes on a cellular level. When a snowflake falls, while I no longer eat them on my tongue, I do marvel at the level of such exquisite detail that is put into something that seconds later disintegrates.

Why would the Creator of all things do things this way? Why put so much complexity into literally every material thing humanity would spend thousands of years trying to comprehend? Why create a universe driven, bound and balanced by laws, in a perfect, intricate balance? I suppose those things matter to God. Maybe they matter to us, whether we realize it or not. When I read the Bible and it tells me that this unmatched force that exists, not bound by time nor space, wanted to have a personal relationship with me through Jesus, I had to explore what that would mean. I set out on a course to know who Jesus was. It took years but I realized that I want to spend the rest of my life in pursuit of Him! Nothing else compares and never before have my expectations been so wildly exceeded for a fulfilled life.

If you hear silence after prayer, do not stop praying. Jeremiah 29:11 is a popular verse in scripture. Verses 12 and 13 take it further by saying that God will listen to prayer and when sought with all the heart, God will be found! To my friend from China… prayer is not speaking to the air, but to God that created it and everything along with it!

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