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Summary: Why does God sometimes choose not to answer prayer?

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When God Seems Silent

*We all go through times in life when God seems silent.

*Those are the times in life when the heavens seem to

be brass.

*In times of God’s silence – We try to pray….but our

prayers may seem only to rise to the ceiling and then

fall back to the floor.

During the times in our life when it seems as if God does not speak to us…

-It is hard to pray

-It is hard to give godly council to others

-It is hard to persevere in the right things

-Sometimes it is even hard to live!!!!

Friends, I am talking to you this morning about a very real part of our Christian Life…. If you have been a Christian for any amount of time you know that there will come times in life when God seems silent.

-Why does God at times seem to be so far in the

distance?

-Why does God at times seem to turn a deaf ear to our

prayers?

-Why does God at times remain silent and keep us

waiting for what we want the

most?

John Wesley has some good insights – about the times in our life when God seems silent.

He says,

1)God may seem silent during times of unseen spiritual warfare.

2)God may be forcing us to grow when He seems silent.

3)God may seem silent when we have unconfused sin in our lives.

Using the Scriptures and John Wesley’s comments as an out line let’s examine the question of God’s silence.

1)God may seem silent when there is unseen spiritual warfare.

This is John Wesley first reason for why God is sometimes silent.

-His observation is supported in the life of the Prophet Daniel.

Daniel 9:3, 20-23

“3 So I turned to the Lord God and pleaded with him in prayer and petition, in fasting, and in sackcloth and ashes”.

Vs. 20-23

“20 While I was speaking and praying, confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel and making my request to the LORD my God for his holy hill-- 21 while I was still in prayer, Gabriel, the man I had seen in the earlier vision, came to me in swift flight about the time of the evening sacrifice. 22 He instructed me and said to me, "Daniel, I have now come to give you insight and understanding. 23 As soon as you began to pray, an answer was given, which I have come to tell you, for you are highly esteemed. Therefore, consider the message and understand the vision:”

If we had time to read the passages on either side and in between these selections we could see several things.

-Israel had been in captivity in Babylon for nearly 70 years.

-Daniel knew from the scriptures he had that it was time for their release.

-Daniel had a vision of the future that was beyond his understanding.

-Daniel began to seek God in prayer and fasting.

-For 21 days God seemed silent and did not answer.

Finally Daniels answer came in a spectacular way brought by the Angel Gabriel.

Picture this…

-Daniel was right with God…

-Praying for the right things…

-in the right way…

-for the right reasons…

-he was even fasting while he prayed.

BUT STILL GOD REMAINED SILENT FOR MANY DAYS.

We will not look at the specifics of this passage this morning -- the point is that during this period of Daniel’s life God was silent.

A)Spiritual warfare kept Daniel from getting an answer for a time… we can be sure that we will also have chapters in life when God seems silent because of spiritual warfare which is unseen to us.

B)Daniel did not give up when he did not get his answer at first … he trusted in God and continued steadfastly in prayer and fasting.

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We are afraid to look for a demon under every bush – but many times it is not an exaggeration it’s a fact that Satan is opposing us and seeking to silence the voice of God.

Lets read another passage with a lot of insight into spiritual warfare…

Ephesians 6: 10-18

“10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.

14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.”

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