I was lost and looking. Asking God why he seemed so far away. How could a man who God had so radically saved feel so alone? "Why God – why do my prayers go nowhere"?
God hadn't moved. His grace was at the ready. His love was as real and awesome as ever. He was calling to my soul – taking me deeper still. He would not be minimized or allow me to settle for too little. I had a tough lesson to learn.
The Lesson: God allowed me to pray into a hollow place. The great answers I'd received in the past were just that – in the past. Now God was silent. The Lesson Made Clear: God loves so deeply that he was unwilling to allow me to treat my wife, poorly. I have never abused my wife. If it was within my power, nothing of earthly value was withheld. But Junanne needed more. She needed what God asked of me – to love my wife as Christ loved the church. Junanne needed my time, my love, my friendship.
God loved my wife, and me, enough to freeze me out. My prayers were bouncing off the ceiling because God wanted to get my attention. I learned in that season that God is jealous for us to encounter his best and he won't let us settle for less.
Love compels God to go silent. He is unwilling to leave us stunted in growth. Our prayers go nowhere when God wants us to thrive. Are you in a hollow place? Consider the following scriptures. If you recognize yourself in any of these – confess, turnaround and enjoy times of refreshing.
God is waiting...
Ignoring Truth – “If one turns away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer is an abomination.” (Proverbs 28:9)
Holding Bitterness – “And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.” (Mark 11:25)
Too Distracted For God – “You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask.” (James 1:2)
Flawed Motives – “You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.” (James 1:3)
Treating Wives Poorly - “Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered.” (I Peter 3:7)
Rejecting God’s Grace – “We know that God does not listen to sinners, but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does his will, God listens to him.” (John 9:31)
Unconfessed Sin - “If I had cherished iniquity in my heart, the Lord would not have listened. But truly God has listened; he has attended to the voice of my prayer.” (Psalm 66:18-19)
Doubting God’s Ability -“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.” (James 1:5-7)
Special Note: I gave a message last Sunday that might give you fresh hope and real power. It was the first message in a new series called: The IT Factor. Take a listen here.