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Why Does God Seem So Far Away? - FaithGateway
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You must be logged in to view your newly purchased content. Please log in below or if you don't have an account, creating one is easy and only takes a few moments. After you log in your content will be available in your library. Has there been a time when no matter how passionately you prayed, God seemed at best indifferent, if not absent? Perhaps your experience was colored by clinical depression, as mine was. Or perhaps there were other reasons for your separation anxiety with God.
Admit What You Think He’s Like (Deep Down)
There are times in our lives when God withdraws His presence because He wants us to pay attention to the destructive path we are on. I received a letter one day from a woman who wanted to know why God was not answering her prayers. She said she needed guidance, but God did not seem to be listening to her. Then she outlined her situation. She told me she was sleeping with three men, and she wanted God to show her which one was the right one for her.
Once I got over my initial shock, I prayed for wisdom and understanding. There are many in our culture who have no background in the church or who have been used or abused as children and have patterned their lives on that. They need grace, acceptance, and kindness from us as God makes their path straight and repaints the picture of what love really is.
When I wrote to her, I thanked her for her honesty. I told her about a man in the Bible called David, who loved God but really messed up. I reminded her of his prayer after he had sinned with Bathsheba. Even though David got what his flesh wanted, his spirit grieved at the separation he now felt between himself and God. His prayer is recorded in Psalm God, be merciful to me because You are loving. Do not send me away from You or take Your Holy Spirit away from me.
God, You will not reject a heart that is broken and sorry for sin. Please understand: each of our personal situations are different. We all come to God in different ways, asking for repentance in different ways. And although God will always, always forgive us, His response to us comes in different ways. It may be a floodgate as with David; it may be a still, small voice in the night, or a feeling of calm like no other.
It may come instantly or over time. It may be that our shame is replaced with peace or even that for some time we walk out the consequences of our choices. But the point is that if we call to Him, God will be there. There are other times where our prayers can be hindered not just by how our behavior affects us but by how our behavior affects others.
When we live with someone day in and day out, we have many opportunities to treat our spouses in a way, shall we say, not quite how God intended. No marriage is perfect; we all understand that. But if we continually disrespect our spouse — for whatever reason — without working things out, we build a wall between not only our spouses and ourselves, but God and ourselves. In the same way, you husbands should live with your wives in an understanding way, since they are weaker than you. But show them respect, because God gives them the same blessing He gives you — the grace that gives true life.
Do this so that nothing will stop your prayers.
What to Do When You Feel Far from God
The rule works for any relationship. In my life, one of the greatest rocks to climb over has been when I am unwilling to forgive. Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing. Jesus asked God to forgive His torturers while He was still in physical and spiritual agony, not after He had risen from the dead.
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He prayed that prayer of forgiveness in the midst of the storm, not when the sun began to remind the earth there are better days ahead. Can you imagine how difficult that must have been?
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It is even more difficult when the person who wronged us is not sorry in the least. Are you tired?