by Matt Slick
This is a common occurrence among Christians. Oftentimes because of our sin, we don't feel the strong presence of the Lord that we may have had in the past. But on the other hand, it could be that God is purposely being distant from us in order to refine our faith. This may sound odd, but sometimes God will withdraw that "feeling" of His presence in order to have us focus on the real issues of prayer, including our faith in Him, rather than praying because we "feel" His presence. After all, what is faith based on--Christ and His resurrection or a feeling we get in prayer?
Moses was in the desert for 40 years. During that time he did not experience the presence of God. Instead, he was being prepared for the time when God would use him. In fact, it was in the wilderness that God first spoke to Moses (Ex. 3:1-2). Jesus also was in the desert. He spent 40 days there in preparation for His ministry (Matt. 4:1-2). Paul the apostle spent time in the desert preparing to be used by the Lord Jesus (Gal. 1:17-18). It is often the case that our dry times and our lack of feeling the presence of God is because we are being prepared to be used by the Lord.
We should not trust our feelings or the lack of feelings when it comes to prayer. We pray according to the Word of God, by faith, with the confident expectation that the Lord hears us. And even though we may not always feel His presence, we must remember not to base our prayer life upon feelings.