It was a beautiful night tonight, so I decided to take my bike out for another long ride on the trail. I’ve been biking alone a lot lately and it’s when I can unpack a lot of the thoughts that are swirling around my head from the rest of the day. It’s also a time when I spend time talking with God. I’ll be honest and tell you that, while I pray often (my internal monologue is pretty much an ongoing conversation with God), setting aside focused time to deliberately pray about issues that are on my heart and mind is another story. Real, focused prayers are usually relegated to bed time, when I end up falling asleep before I get the thoughts out there.
I’ve been working through a number of things lately, many of which are related to my dad passing away back in April. They’ve been on my mind a lot, but mostly on the back burner, not getting the focus or attention they need. I’ve been trying these last couple weeks to use my biking time to work through what’s on my heart. However, I’m starting to feel what I think a lot of people feel when it comes to prayer – I don’t hear answers.
I know that prayer is more than just talking to God. It’s more than just a “customer support” hot-line to call when something needs to be fixed. There also needs to be time set aside to allow God to respond. (Unfortunately, not usually audibly – man wouldn’t that be helpful!) I get all of that. I even understand that he can answer with a “yes” or a “no” or a “not yet.” The thing I’m struggling with and I think many people do at one time or another is what happens when He’s silent – when you look and listen for a response from His Word, from another person, from an experience or even just in your heart – and there’s nothing there?
O God, do not keep silent;
be not quiet, O God, be not still.
That’s pretty much where I am. I know that he’s listening. I know that he hears me and that maybe he’s just formulating the right answer for the right time. Until that time, I’ll keep praying, keep listening and keep looking for his hand at work around me.
So what about you? Have you ever experienced God’s silence? What did you do? Please share your thoughts.