When Heaven is Silent
Driving into town the other day I decided we should play my favorite game with the kids. It’s called “The Silent Game” … Abby loves this game, because she knows she is going to win 🙂
Have you ever felt like the Lord was playing the “Silent Game” with you?
In real life some people have lost their faith in God because of unanswered prayers.
Ted Turner – One of the most vocal opponents of Christianity. He grew up in a christian home. When his sister got sick and was dying he prayed over and over for her to be healed. When she died he decided there was no god.
We have all had prayers that did not get answered the way we prayed for.
Why does it seem sometimes that God is not listening?
The psalmist said in Psalm 28:1-2 “To you, LORD, I call; you are my Rock, do not turn a deaf ear to me. For if you remain silent, I will be like those who go down to the pit. 2Hear my cry for mercy as I call to you for help, as I lift up my hands toward your Most Holy Place.”
In Habakkuk 1:2the prophet prayed “How long, LORD, must I call for help, but you do not listen? Or cry out to you, “Violence!”but you do not save?”
Even Jesus had a prayer that seemed to go unanswered. In Matthew 26:39 “Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me.”
The apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 12:7-9 said “or because of these surpassingly great revelations. Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. 8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”
- A thorn in the flesh
- A messenger of Satan
- Three times he pleaded with God to remove it
- God had a different answer
I think often times God doesn’t need to explain himself:
- We couldn’t understand
- The answer is more than we can bear
- He wants us to trust him
1 John 5:14-15
14 This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. 15 And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.
How often do we ask for things that are against God’s will?
- For someone to have a good day
NOTHING LIES OUTSIDE THE REACH OF PRAYER EXCEPT FOR THAT WHICH LIES OUTSIDE THE WILL OF GOD.
13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.
If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.
NOTHING LIES OUTSIDE THE REACH OF PRAYER EXCEPT FOR THAT WHICH LIES OUTSIDE THE WILL OF GOD
Now I believe there are prayers that are pretty much always answered
- Save me
- Forgive me
- Help me
PRAYER PUTS GOD’S WORK IN HIS HANDS – AND KEEPS IT THERE. EM Bounds
2 You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. 3 When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.
What was the wrong motive in this verse?
- To get something for our own pleasure
Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not my will, but yours be done.
- We need to learn to ask according to God’s will
- We need to have right motives
23 “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, 24 leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.
Us being in bad relationship with each other puts us outside of God’s will
- We can ask for things apart from God’s will
- We can ask for things with ourselves being outside of God’s will.
If any of you lacks wisdom he should ask God who gives generously to all without finding fault.
- God loves to give
- God loves to bless his people
- God also loves to mold and shape us into his image