GodReflection: Silent God—Seeking His Voice
In a recent re-read of Phillip Yancey’s book, Prayer, Does It Make Any Difference?
I am struck again with how much I don’t understand about prayer. My lack of comprehension seems dramatically contrasted to the rich prayer vein that runs throughout Scripture.
As a small boy—totally unaware of the hurts and pains of the disenfranchised—I remember the misguided humor we saw in a mentally challenged man who would stop, extend his right limb to shake hands with the tree’s limb as he conversed with the tree.
Surely, he didn’t expect a response in return from Mr. Tree—or maybe he did?
I sometimes wonder if that is far too often a picture of my struggle with the prayer of faith. I act as if I address God not really expecting Mr. Tree to speak back.
If only I could learn more of God’s design behind the act of prayer, could it be that I might find more prayer power at my disposal to enrich my relationship with the HOLY?
This past year I came across an intriguing book by Steve and Ginny Saint. It carried the title, Walking His Trail, Signs of God Along the Way.
Steve Saint is the son of Marge and Nate Saint. In 1956 Nate and four other young men were martyred by Waodani Indians of Ecuador in their attempt to introduce Jesus to a Stone Age tribe.
What caught my eye was the theme of the book. The Saints take the reader through seventeen occasions over their lifetime that stand as faith monuments to help answer their question, “Where are the signs of God along the way?”
Throughout the next few post I proposed to look anew at the nature of prayer. I suspect that I’ve placed some misguided expectations upon my own concept of prayer.
I want to re-think why it is that I struggle to mold a prayer life that can be more in tune to the grand purpose of prayer.
I’ve never met a person who claims to have heard the audible voice of God. With the close of the written Scripture God can seem rather silent. I hear people speak of God telling them to do this or that.
I think I know what they mean. However, they don’t seem to define their Divine Instructions as direct “spoken aloud” encounters.
If God designed prayer to fulfill His need of intimacy with His creation, how can I be more confident that we are carrying on a warm and loving conversation instead of a one-sided dialogue?
Does God just randomly respond to some of my request and not every one? Am I missing the language of God?
Are there signs along my way to indicate that God is not only a listening participant in prayer but also actively holding up His end of the conversation?
Just in case you are wondering, I don’t expect to exhaust the mystery of prayer over the next few posts. However, what I hope to do is to discover a few new nuggets that will aid in my quest to know God at a deeper level.
I invite you to dig along with me and bless others with your insights along the way.
Dr. Gary J. Sorrells
A GodReflection on Silent God Seeking His Voice.