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Over two weeks ago, I sent y’all a very honest email. It was supposed to be an email about how to feel God’s presence except…I wasn’t feeling His presence at all.
I explained that my prayer life was not where it needed to be. I had too much on my plate, and too many decisions to make, and I couldn’t hear God in any of it. It was extremely frustrating, to say the least.
So I took a two-week break from everything Pray With Confidence to hear Him better.
I prayed bold prayers, and I was excited to come back with whatever God said to me.
Except, I still wasn’t hearing anything.
Does anyone else understand how frustrating that is?!
Please tell me that I’m not alone. I was seeking out God, waiting to hear from Him….and nothing.
I felt defeated. I felt embarrassed. I started to doubt and truly thought I was going to have to come back and tell you all I still wasn’t hearing from God.
And then, without realizing it, I resorted to what I always do. I tried to find God’s message in a mess instead of Him revealing Himself to me.
I wanted God’s presence so badly that I was trying to create the solution myself. I was trying to create my own revelation.
Maybe the purpose of this is that I can’t give God a timeline, I thought. Maybe it is that I told everyone I needed two weeks when I should have said that I needed time for God to reveal Himself to me. I needed time to re-learn how to feel God’s presence.
And by the way, all of that above is true. Who was I to give God a two-week deadline? I didn’t mean to of course, but by saying that I needed two weeks I kinda was (although unintentionally.)
It was also true that I needed to re-learn how to feel God’s presence. I feel like for many of us that lesson is a never-ending lesson. We go in ebbs and flows of feeling so connected to God, and then feeling distant again. I was in a rut and I needed to get out.
But no matter what, the fact was, it was three days before the two weeks were over, and I had kind of given up. I wasn’t trying to seek an answer anymore.
So that morning I was reading Exodus for a school assignment. I was reading Exodus 16. This is two chapters after God parted the Red Sea for Moses and the Israelites. They are in the wilderness, and complaining about not having food. God gives them manna, or bread from the sky.
How amazing is that? Bread is literally falling from the sky for them.
So Moses gives them instructions from God. He tells them to only collect enough manna for the day. They have to trust God for Him to provide. Instead, most of them try to collect enough for another day or so. When they wake up the next day, the leftover manna is moldy and filled with maggots. Ew. They needed to trust God.
However, it was just a few days later that it was the day before the Sabbath. They needed to prepare for the Holy Day. This time, God told them to collect enough for the day as well as for the Sabbath Day. He said that this time, it would last overnight. And it did.
So what changed between the first time, when everything got all moldy, and the second time, when it didn’t?
The intention behind it.
Let’s think about it: the first time, the people collected extra manna to try to solve a situation in their own human way. They tried to put the solution in their hands. God wanted them to trust them, which is why He gave them daily bread.
The second time, in preparation for the Sabbath, they had to trust that this time, God wouldn’t turn it to mold overnight. They had the same exact actions but needed to have different intentions and trust God.
I never knew I’d find God’s presence in a passage about moldy bread, but God always works in surprising ways.
I knew then that the issue was not doing less, or changing things up, but simply changing my intention. I needed to put God first, trust in HIS ways over my own, and do that through prayer and action. I needed to continue to take steps of faith.
So now I’ll be back to doing the same things with Pray With Confidence. I’ll still be emailing twice a week, and sending daily prayers out, and posting on Facebook. However, I will do my best to let go of my human worries and trust that God brought me on this journey and He will not let me fail.
What journey does God have you on currently? What needs to be changed in your intentions?
How to Feel God’s Presence If You Haven’t In a While
1. Seek Him, not the answer.
I can’t stress this enough. With Pray With Confidence, I prayed continually for a road map. I just wanted to know what God wanted me to do. Once I shifted to seeking Him and His goodness, everything else followed behind in shifting as well.
2. Read the Bible differently.
Change up how you get into God’s Word! Try a new commentary, such as Enduring Word, buy a new Bible, or follow a new blogger.
3. Write down your prayers!
I used to get overwhelmed by a prayer journal until I bought one that was one-line-a-day. This way, I could see God’s answered prayers shining all over the pages.
4. Ask others how you can pray for them.
When we pray for others, and see their prayer answers come alive, it will help us to pray more boldly.
What else can you add to this list on how to feel God’s presence?
Jessie Synan is a Master’s student in Theological Studies who helps other women find their prayer focus in a distracting world. She went from her ADHD interfering with her prayer life to finding her own unique rhythms for prayer and encouraging other women to do the same. She is the founder of Pray With Confidence, which has helped over 5000 women focus on prayer through the real and vulnerable advice she gives to those on her email list when they sign up for the free guide “How to pray [when you can’t focus.]”
Sunday 23rd of April 2023
I love your honesty and have felt the same way! I have a daughter who is on drugs, lost her kids and the father won’t let me see them. My one and only daughter has been estranged from me for ten years! Even though I can’t see my grand kids I still send cards and gifts. Not sure they even receive them as all I get is silence. And silence from God too. This is very frustrating! I have cried, pleaded, took dad to court, spent loads of money only to keep going back to court and spend more money, I have been angry at God, threaten to go to a psychic and even thought about giving up on him! But I don’t. I do love God. I just can’t wrap my mind around any of this. I feel like I am missing out on so much with my grandkids! Painful. This can never be given back. I truly don’t know Gods way. My sister said maybe God is protecting me. He must be as if I gave it more thought I am probably at more peace in the silence, then having to deal with the drugs and the neurotic behavior of my grandkids and daughter. Plus, am I making them more important than God? God doesn’t like this. So I am try very hard to let go of that crazy mess and just keep looking into Gods eyes. I once read….and there is some good thinking on this….. that if I want to control things on earth God won’t like this in heaven. Because he is the boss. There is only One in control in heaven and it’s not me! Let go and let God. Still having faith in His ways, Regina