3 Things to Remember When God Feels Distant - What to do when your prayers feel unheard

Updated: Nov 7

Psalm 86:15 - But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.


Does God Sometimes Feel Distant To You?

Over the years, I have felt myself grow in and out in my relationship with Jesus depending on my season of life. Oftentimes, when I feel very close with Him, I feel extremely loved, heard, and forgiven. But then there are those times when I feel very distant from Him. I feel as if He is a million miles away.


I am sure you have felt this same way also. Those nights when you pray to God and it feels like you are only talking to yourself? Yes, I get those too. Perhaps, for you, it has been more than just one night. Perhaps this feeling of being unheard has been going on for months or even years.


There are many things you can remember when you have nights, days, weeks, or even years like those.


1. Remember that this is an attack from the enemy.


Unfortunately, God often gets blamed when anything bad happens to humanity. As a whole, humanity likes to forget that there is an enemy who is extremely against us - one who attacks us and perpetrates evil at every chance he can. If Satan can make God feel distant to you, he absolutely will. However, just because he can make you feel something, doesn't mean that it's the truth. You have to remember that Satan only has one weapon he can really use against us: lies.


If he can make you feel like God is distant, then he has won. He has put those lies in front of you that say,

  • Maybe God doesn't love me

  • Maybe God hasn't forgiven me

  • Maybe God doesn't care

  • Maybe God isn't real

But friends, here's the truth:

1 Peter 5:7 - Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
Isaiah 54:10 - Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed," says the Lord, who has compassion on you.
Psalm 86:15 - But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.
"But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:8

Don't let the lies of Satan crowd your brain from the truth of who God is.

2. Know that God desires a relationship with you and has promised to never leave.


When you feel that God is distant and not hearing or listening to your prayers, it is important to remember how much God desires a relationship with you personally. There are many beautiful verses out there that express this very thing about God's nature:


  • "The righteous cry out and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the broken-hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. The righteous person may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all." Psalm 34:17-19

  • "Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you." Deuteronomy 31:6

  • "For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:38-39

Since God is sinless, He is unable to lie. This means that these verses are all truth about God's character. He will never leave you nor forsake you. That means that those times that God feels distant to you is all in your head.


3. Remember that this may have something to do with your attitude


Sometimes we, ourselves, push God aside. We get caught up in our own selfish ambitions. We forget to pray to God. We forget to confess our sins or thank God for all the good we have in our lives. Sometimes, we just don't care about our relationship with Him.

We tend to push God away, but then blame Him when He doesn't feel near to us or answer us.

This is our own fault.


At this point, we need to remember that God desires a relationship with us, but He will never force us to keep that relationship if we don't want to. Because of free will, God wants us to choose that relationship with Him. This means that we need to be actively seeking out good communication with God.


Next time God feels distant to you, firstly remember that these are nothing but lies. God is not distant and never will be. But you must come to that conclusion on your own. When you do, ask yourself how you can feel closer to Jesus? Perhaps there is something you need to confess. Perhaps you feel guilty of something you've done, even after you've confessed it? Perhaps you are too caught up in the momentary pleasures of the here and now? Perhaps you have been too busy with life to make time for God? Or perhaps you are angry at God?


Whatever it may be, it is not a sin to talk about these things to God. In fact, it is the first step to drawing closer in your relationship to Him.


Just pray.


Dear God,


Forgive me for drawing so far away from You when You have told me how much You desire a relationship with me. Forgive me for believing lies about You that do nothing but hinder myself from having good communication with You. Help me have a heart for You. Thank You for being so near to me and for always taking me back.


In Jesus's name,

Amen

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