This is from my reading, last evening, in "The Sympathy Of Christ"by Octavius Winslow.
There is often, too, the silence of Jesus in prayer. You approach the throne of grace,you draw near the mercy seat, but - He answers you not a word! Jesus is silent. Around the spot where you would have thought his voice would the soonest and clearest be hear, lo! the stillness of death seems to reign.You have brought a new sorrow, you have come with a new burden, you have repaired with a new want, and Jesus hides Himself. You weep, you cry, you complain,but He answers you not a word. God's answers to prayer are not always immediate and direct. The "vision" has an appointed time and for that it tarries. But though the Lord is silent in prayer, it does not follow that He does not hear the voice, or is indifferent to the appeal of prayer. Oh no! It would seem an utter impossibility that God should be deaf to the voice, or disregard the prayer of His people."O Thou that hearest prayer, to Thee all flesh shall come." The silence of God in prayer is to be interpreted but as a test of our sincerity, and as a trial of our faith, and as a lesson He would teach us in His own divine Sovereignty. His silence in prayer is not indifference. His delays in answers to prayer are not refusals. Were our faith expert and lively, it would take encouragement from the silence, and hope from the delay. Long and silent was the night of the Patriarch's holy wrestlings with the Angel of the Covenant; but when the day dawned it broke the mysterious silence, and Jacob retired from the conflict a prince, and a conqueror. The language of the prophet is, "I will wait upon the Lord, that hideth His face from the house of Israel, and I will seek for Him." (Isaiah 8:17) Faith waits for a silent God, and seeks for a hiding God; believes that He is a God that cannot lie, and so trusts His word of promise even thought the silence of death seems to entomb it forever. Lift up thy heart, then, child of God! Thy prayers are heard, thy God will answer. The bright vision may tarry, but it will surely come; the blessing may be delayed, but it will certainly be given.Jesus may answer you not a word, but He knows the thoughts and purposes He has towards you, and beneath that stillness and solemnity of that weary painful silence there is revolving in His infinite mind and loving heart, responses to your supplications and prayers the most gracious and full, far above all that you asked or thought.
"Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it."
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