God, where are you?

‘My heart is struck down like grass and has withered…’ Psalm 102:4 (ESV) 

Prayer Sustaining Ministry
Candle burning

Thought: 

God is always present. God loves us. God is everywhere. What do you do when you know the party-line, but you can’t seem to tow it? You read your Bible, but nothing leaps from the page. You sing worship songs, but your heart isn’t in it. Your prayers end mid-sentence. You’ve confessed every sin until your conscience is rung dry. You’ve done everything you can to inch closer to heaven and yet still God feels distant. It takes a large dollop of faith to see our urban communities through hopeful eyes. So, when we struggle to feel God’s closeness, how can we expect to see him at work on our estates?

Through these dry seasons, we’ve all asked, ‘Where are you, God?’ It might encourage you to know that the greatest of saints have been there too. Mother Theresa devoted her life to the poor in Calcutta. She once said, “Whenever I meet someone in need, it’s really Jesus in his most distressing disguise.” If only you could muster up this kind of faith. Experiencing God bouncing through every alleyway. Seeing Jesus in the faces of youth peeking through hoodies. Not so fast. Mother Theresa was asked before her death, “How does it feel to be so close to God?” Her reply, “It’s been so long since I’ve felt close to God that I don’t remember what it feels like.” 

So, while the party-line tells us, ‘God is near,’ be comforted by knowing that you’re not alone feeling his absence. 

For whatever reason it’s not uncommon for God’s nearest and dearest to experience periods of nothingness. Jesus himself echoed this spiritual loneliness from the cross, ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’ (REFERENCE)

Where do we take our prayers from here? If you’re feeling spiritually dry, prayer can seem an empty exercise. We can lose our desire to reach God. When we lack spiritual appetite, Saint Ignatius advises us to use this as our starting point. ‘To pray for the desire to want to pray.’ If even that seems impossible, he gives us a get-out clause, and tells us to pray for the desire to want to pray. Surely, that’s a prayer our low spirits can handle! 

 

Let’s pray… 

Lord,
I remember when I knew you were there.
I recall times when I felt excited by my faith.
Lately I have felt nothing.
The silence has broken my heart and left me with unanswered questions.
Help me navigate these thoughts and feelings.
Let me find you again.
Increase my desire to pray.
Strengthen my desire to desire to pray.
Bring me through this dry season into a place of greater intimacy. 

Amen.  

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