In the questionnaire that was sent out for Climbing Prayer Mountain someone asked, “How do you pray when God seems silent?” Can you relate to this question? I know I can. There have been seasons in my life where constant knocking on heaven’s door seems futile as the door seems to remain shut. When discouragement floods in and a voice speaks from deep within saying, “Give up, He is not listening, you are not even on heaven’s radar!”
As I write this blog I’m in Lesotho Africa where this past Pentecost Sunday millions of people from South Africa and Lesotho ended a 40 day season of fasting and prayer for their countries. They have been asking God to intervene in a political system that has become corrupt, asking Him to heal racial tensions and violence that have plagued their land for generations, and begging for a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit to awaken the church.
Overwhelming pain has gripped this beautiful land of Southern Africa for decades, and it would be easy to give up hope thinking heaven has been slow in responding to the cries of his children. Yet whenever I come here, I see passionate Christians who continue to pound persistently on heaven’s door in spite of the extreme battles they daily fight. For many, the tough times have forged them into a people that are strong in faith, rich in prayer, and holding on to the promises of God even when there seems to be years of silence.
There are so many examples from the Scriptures where God is apparently silent, but it is during these times that His children overcome the greatest of obstacles for His glory. God uses such time to teach His children to trust Him. Pick up your Bible and read Hebrews 11, which introduces us to the Hall of Faith of faithful followers. Each of those listed in this chapter knows what it is like to go through season of silence. Noah, Abraham, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Rahab, David and a host of others experienced difficult trials when God seemed absent. Yet, the struggle resulted in wrestling prayers that continued to knock on heaven’s door until the glory came down and heaven answered their persistent prayers. They were people who were “Sure of what they hoped for and certain of what they did not see (Hebrews 11:1).
So take heart when heaven seems silent and your prayers seem ignored. He is preparing you for His Hall of Faith, where your life can testify to His great faithfulness and glorious works in your life.