How many times have you prayed, opened your eyes, and thought: What's the point? Does God even care? I've been praying about this for the longest time and still no answer from God! I've been consistent and faithful, so why isn't God answering? Even saying "No!" would be better than silence. Perhaps you've gotten to a point where you try to read your Bible, but it's hard to focus because the only thing you can think about is why God feels so far away. It doesn't make sense. You're trying to draw close to Him, but it's like the closer you draw to God, He only pulls further away. Getting angry is very understandable and appears to be a fair reaction. After all, God is the one ignoring us when we've been humbling ourselves before Him, right? Before you actually give up on prayer, do the following and then see if you still want to give up:
1. Stay on your knees.
Don't stop earnestly praying just because God seems silent. Getting off of your knees and giving up because God seems to be absent is exactly what the devil wants you to do. No. He is there, He is listening, and He will answer.
2. Be honest about your struggle with prayer.
If a fellow brother or sister in Christ asks you what you're praying about or who you're praying for, don't act like it's all hunky-dory and that there are no struggles in your heart. Tell him/her that it's hard right now. Open up and be vulnerable. Don't be fake. And ask him/her to pray that God will give you the strength to persevere.
3. Continue to praise God.
It can be difficult to continue giving God thanks and singing His praises when it seems like He shut the door in your face and is ignoring your calls. Those are lies from the devil. Find comfort in the words of Habakkuk 3:17-19:
Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior. The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to tread on the heights.
4. Know that the Lord most certainly has a plan.
God isn't up there in Heaven scrambling to put something together so your life isn't in shambles. Who would want to follow and worship a God that can't keep it together? No, absolutely not. God has fully ordered everything, so be filled with hope. After all, God told Job in Job 38:1-7:
Then the Lord spoke to Job out of the storm. He said: "Who is this that obscures my plans with words without knowledge? Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer me. "Where were you when I laid the earth's foundation? Tell me, if you understand. Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it? On what were its footings set, or who laid its cornerstone — while the morning stars sang together and all the angels[a] shouted for joy?
5. Remember that "where the ideal is lacking, grace abounds."
In a sermon he preached back in 2014, Pastor Matt Chandler of The Village Church in Dallas, TX said specifically to the single moms and widowers in the crowd: "Where the ideal is lacking, grace abounds." While he was specifically talking to single moms and widowers in that situation, the saying applies to other situations as well. Perhaps you're in a predicament that truly isn't your fault, or maybe you lack vital resources and are in dire straits. God will provide. He will not leave you. Read Genesis 21:8-20 and see how God provided for those in desperate need. God will do the same for you. Don't grow weary.