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God on mute

“Even when I cry out and plead for help, he locks up my prayers and throws away the key” (Lamentations 3:8). Now there’s a Bible verse we don’t often quote to each other or post on our social media pages with a nice fluffy picture! But it really does describe how many of us can feel when our desperate prayers just seem to evaporate into the silent heavens.

Over the past month or so, I’ve been reading a fantastic book called God on Mute by Pete Greig. It has a quote on the front cover from the Archbishop of Canterbury calling it “a Christian classic”, and I couldn’t agree more with his recommendation. It genuinely is one of the best and most touching Christian books that I’ve read in a long time, and often left me close to tears with its raw honesty.

The complete title of the book says this: God on mute: engaging the silence of unanswered prayer. The whole book is an attempt by Pete to try and honestly wrestle with the many reasons why our gut-wrenching prayers so often seem to go unanswered by God. It’s not written from a dry, academic perspective, but very much based on Pete’s own experience of being plunged into sudden and unexpected suffering and trying to work out where God is in the midst of it all. Pete is the founder of the 24-7 Prayer movement and seen as one of the leading “experts” on prayer (by others rather than by himself!), but he is searingly honest about his own struggles and doubts. Personally, I think we could do with much more of that kind of honesty in the church rather than the blind faith that seeps away when life gets hard.

I want to reassure you that I’m not on any kind of commission here folks, but I would warmly recommend you getting hold of the book for yourself. Or buying a copy for someone you know who is struggling with the sense that God is somehow ignoring their prayers.

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