Have you ever been praying and felt like you were talking to yourself? Or like every single thing you say is bouncing off of some invisible wall? I have. I know exactly what it's like to feel like God isn't answering me. I know how easy it is to start to believe all those beautiful scriptures about how God hasn't forgotten you or how He collects all of our tears are only meant for other people and not ME. I have noticed that there are five things that I run through when I am having a hard time hearing back from God. Now of course, this isn't an exhaustive list. So if you have any thing you would like to add, feel free to comment here or on instagram and let me know. But in the mean time, run through these 5 things and see if any of these could apply to your situation.
- God often nudges us to do or not to do things specific to us. He may be asking you to lay something down, repent, forgive or follow through on a project He put in your heart. Recently for me, I felt like I was hitting a wall when I was praying and I finally realized it was because God had instructed me to finish the Wholeheartedly Devotional for single women. I put it on pause and the moment I picked it back up, he started to speak to me through the devotional and everything I needed was in there. So ask yourself- did I do the last thing God nudged me to do? And be brutally honest with yourself. Did you half do it? Do you think it wasn't that big of a deal? Did you brush it off? ugh. I know, it isn't that fun but that can definitely be a reason you are feeling like you aren't hearing from God.
2. Unconfessed Sin
- God loves us. Please know that. He loves us more than we could ever imagine. But He absolutely DOES NOT love sin. He does not love gluttony, gossip, sexual immorality, lying or anything else He calls sin. It is NOT OKAY for us to act like sin isn't a big deal because we didn't murder anyone. Scripture tell us all of them matter. Friend, check yourself. And I don't say this so you close the tab and live in shame. No. Shame is not ours to bear. But until we CALL out our sin, God cannot redeem us from it. He does not point out where we are slipping to judge us or condemn us. He points it out to transform us and FREE us from sin. You can repent. He is a LOVING father who only wants the best for you. Confess it and clear the air between you and God.
- Feeling bitter? jealous? angry? frustrated? impatient? I know for me, it becomes super hard to hear God when I am drowning in my own personal rage. It is okay to be mad. It is part of life. But push yourself out of it and bring it to Him. If you cannot stop coveting someone else life, confess it to God and ask Him to help you be overjoyed with your portion. If you cannot forgive someone, ask God for help. Acknowledging these feelings and asking God to give you His vision to filter it all through with can help you get the prayer breakthrough you need. We were never meant to feel all of those things in isolation. Jesus desires to carry these burdening emotions away from you.
4. Bible Time
- I feel like I have said this a hundred times but: we do not read our bibles to have pretty marked up bibles. We read them because the words are ALIVe and ACTIVE and sharper than a two edged sword. God speaks primarily through His word. Those pages are full of the answers to our deepest questions. They are full of the comfort we are seeking in a moment of despair. They are full of instructions, direction, and guidance. Open your bible, beloved. Dont be intimidated. Don't be discouraged if it doesnt make sense. Take it one verse at a time. Even a familiar one. Just read it, meditate on it and Ask God to show you how to make it part of your life. You can do it. I have a free bible study printable I think you may like! Check it out here.
5. Transactional Prayer
- I think somewhere along the way we started to think that prayer was a one way conversation. Or maybe just an obligatory thing we do on our knees, by the side of the bed because we "should". But prayer is a dialogue. It is a fluid conversation. We cannot just rattle of things we need or a list of complaints to God and expect to hear Him. He wants to be loved back. He wants us to do more than sit down at the table, He wants us to FEAST. Get to know the Jesus you serve. Love on God in your prayer time. Confide in Him your fears and dreams and sins. Yes, He already knows. But what parent wouldn't want to hear from their child?? Ask yourself if your prayers are transactional or relational? If the answer is transactional, DON'T GIVE UP. Press in deeper. He wants nothing more than to be close to YOU. Yes YOU.
I hope this is helpful for you. I would love to know what you have done to help you when you feel like you aren't hearing God. But more than anything, I hope you know that God does speak and He desires to talk to you.
I am always here to pray with and for you. Email me at email@example.com or shoot me a message on Instagram.
If you are looking to grow in your prayer life then grab my first ever ebook prayer devotional BOLDER!