Have you ever stopped praying? Just because you felt like heaven remained silent for far too long?
It’s enough to drive a man crazy, it’ll break a man’s faith
It’s enough to make him wonder if he’s ever been sane
When he’s bleating for comfort from thy staff and thy rod
And heaven’s only answer is the silence of God
The silence of God. It is maddening, painful and sad. There is a great sadness hidden in this song by Andrew Peterson. What if heaven remains silent while you so desperately want contact with God?
Is prayer a quick fix?
When someone is uncomfortable or sad you often want to cheer someone up right? Say something that makes them feel better. Give them a little boost. But sometimes life is hard. Sometimes you experience such intense things in life that you don’t want to feel better at all. Well-meaning Bible texts may fly by your ears. Here are no well-intentioned texts but a desire to seek with you for a connection with God.
Why is heaven silent?
Prayer is not a quick fix. Not just a pick-me-up to make you feel better. Praying is talking to God. Explaining to God what you need, how you feel. Sharing your heart. Of course it’s nice when you can give thanks for the wonderful things in your life, but it’s also so important that you really show yourself to God. Isn’t it the same in normal life? In friendships? That you give each other a look into your heart. Are these not often the most beautiful conversations? Where you can take off your mask and no longer have to keep up appearances? Especially with all your frustrations, anger, disappointment and sadness. It can be so nice to share that with someone.
Yet we often think that God is not waiting for that. Then we feel burdened or ungrateful when we show that side of ourselves to God. But if we are not real, do not show our true emotions, how can God comfort you?
The heaven feels like copper
It is a Dutch expression: ‘the heaven feels like copper’. It means that it feels as if nothing can get through to heaven. As if the heavens are locked. Heaven seems to remain silent. You pray, but the message just doesn’t seem to get across up there. Interestingly, this expression comes from the Bible itself, from the book of Deuteronomy. The meaning there is just the opposite. Nothing from heaven can get through to earth because people are no longer in touch with God and go their own way.
Sometimes it can help to stop sending for a moment and to see if the reception on your side is still good. Check to which side the door opens. Maybe you are trying with all your might to push open the door to God, but the door is actually turning towards you. By pushing, you don’t get it open. What if God is also trying to open the door on the other side?
With me the heaven remains silent – am I the only one?
When you don’t experience a connection with God, it can feel very lonely. You feel alone. Misunderstood. By God but therefore sometimes also by others. Do you ever hear special stories from people about their experiences with God and you only think: good for you, but I’m not hearing God … These beautiful stories can strengthen your feelings of loneliness. But there are also other stories. From people who also experience that heaven is closed. They cry out to God. Even Jesus shouts out to God on the cross: Why have you forsaken me? It may surprise you, but the Bible contains stories like this. When you hear their story, it can almost depress you. And the sky seems silent. That is how rejected they feel by God.
It is so dark around me,
that it seems I am already dead and buried.
I don’t see a way out anymore.
He has put me in chains.
I cry out to Him for help,
but He doesn’t listen to me.
I can’t go any further,
For He is blocking my way.
Yes, this is really from the Bible, from the book of Lamentations. The name says it all…there’s a lot of complaining. There are people who would rather skip this book for a while. It doesn’t really make you happy. And isn’t there an expression: don’t complain but bear it? Just swallow and carry on. Yet it is not without reason in the Bible. Apparently God allows us to complain. As long as we complain to God! Shout it out!
David cries out:
God, listen to my prayer!
Don’t pretend that You don’t hear me.
Please listen to me and answer me.
I cry out to You.
David cries out to God
Do you recognize this feeling of David? The writer of this psalm is on the run at the time. He has been betrayed by his friends. His life is one big chaos. He doesn’t understand a thing and cries out to God. While pleading and crying, his prayer changes because the same psalm ends with: “I trust in You.” Not because he feels that way, but because he chooses to trust God. If sometimes you don’t experience God in your life, sometimes you have to make a conscious choice to trust him. Even if you don’t feel him.
Job doesn’t want to pray anymore
“What is the use of praying anymore?”, cries Job. His story is described in detail in the Bible. How he is a prosperous and very religious man. But he loses everything. His job, possessions and his family. And then he also gets sick. God suddenly seems very far away. Heaven closed. He doesn’t understand why this is happening to him now. Why should he pray anymore?
Job is very honest with God, but also with his friends. He no longer keeps up appearances. And God? Is He abandoning him completely, now that he is no longer crying out in glory hallelujah? The opposite! It is at this moment that God begins to speak. He shows how God is present in everything and that Job may trust Him. With Job, fortunately, all is well again. And his relationship with God becomes deeper and more intense. Precisely because of the heavy tests that their relationship has gone through.
Let these stories from the Bible give you hope and recognition. You’re not the only one who sometimes feels like heaven stays silent. And you don’t have to stay alone with that feeling either. Perhaps you know people in your community who have a relationship with God? Ask if they would like to help you. Share your desire to connect with God. You can ask them to pray for you or if you trust them enough, to pray together. Let their story give you hope and not just be a reminder that things are different with you. For what is not, may come. Trust in that. Don’t give up. Even though heaven seems silent.
Do you need a conversation or would you like us to pray for you? Send us a message here and our e-coaches will be happy to talk with you further.