Gail Rodgers Sharing the Journey

Power for Living Part 15 - I Can't Hear You God

Have you ever had that feeling that your prayers were not going past the ceiling? God sometimes can feel so close, but then it changes and our hearts can feel distant and God feels silent. Why is this?

I discovered one reason in my life that this happens. It was after a family discussion where I had spilled out some things that were bugging me. I really felt better! It was good to get that off my chest! Until I went to pray… and God just seemed out of reach.

God is so good! He knows I desire to do things His way and He knows I so often don’t get it right. So He uses His Holy Spirit to show me. I “happened” to read in my Bible these words:

“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it my benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God… ” Ephesians 4:29 & 30.

Suddenly I understood! When I dumped on someone, getting it off my chest, it was usually not very helpful words, usually not words that would build them up according to their needs. And in the process I grieved the Holy Spirit. That explained why God felt out of reach. I had grieved His Holy Spirit by my words.

But wait a minute… sometimes I had legitimate grievances that needed to be talked out! Did this mean I could never speak my mind? Over the years God has kneaded this verse into my life like flour is kneaded into bread and this is what I have learned…

When I have a grievance with one of my family members (or anyone else for that matter), when something just plain bugs me ....I am learning, by trial and error, how to apply this verse to real life, where the rubber meets the road.

I have found that first I make a choice to be silent in the moment of irritation. It is vital to ask for the Holy Spirit’s help on this.

Second I make a choice to talk about that irritation on my knees. In other words I pour out the feelings and frustrations to God.

Third, I listen for direction and the Holy Spirit often first shows me something I can work on or change in me. I ask for His forgiveness and His help.

And lastly, if there is still an issue left on my heart that needs to be tackled with the other person, the Holy Spirit has given me fresh perspective, He has shown me my part, and He has quieted my soul so I can respond at a better time and in a better way.

The irritations of our hearts need to be monitored. The responses that flow so naturally out of us are often the very words that grieve the Holy Spirit and we don’t even know it! We have no clue as to why our prayers don’t pass the ceiling. When we respond according to what God tells us in His Word, the change is remarkable. We are calmer, life around us is calmer and best of all, the flow of the communication of our hearts with God’s is not blocked and blessing is the result. What a caring God who helps us in this way!