By Heather Cooper
A person frustrated at God's apparent silence in the face of their prayers receives understanding from Biblical examples.
Person: (male or female)
(Lights come up, stage left, on a person reading their Bible. Person closes it with a sigh and begins to pray, looking troubled.)
Person: Father, hear my prayer. You know how important this is to me. I really need to know what to do. (Silence…) Father, I want to do Your will. I faithfully seek You each day in prayer and in reading Your Word. Please give me an answer. (Silence…) Dear God, I've been waiting so long. Time has almost run out. What should I do? Where are You? (Silence…) (gets up and looks upward) Lord, what more can I do? What have I done to deserve this silence? Tell me and I'll repent! Just talk to me!! (Silence…) (dropping head and arms by side) Are You even there? Am I just talking to myself? (Silence…) Silence! That's all I ever hear lately! (throws up hands) Oh, what's the use?! I'm probably just deluding myself.
(Starts to turn away, then notices a package come from behind the curtain. Goes and picks it up, brings it to the chair, examining it as he/she goes. Package is gift-wrapped but covered with large labels saying: "God's Silence"; "Classified"; "To Be Opened Only By Approved Personnel".)
Person: What's this? (Reads labels questioningly) Classified? To be opened only by approved personnel? God's silence? Been getting a lot of that lately. This looks like a gift package. How can God's silence be a gift?
(Notices a tag and reads it.)
Person: What does this tag say? Hmmm! A quote from Oswald Chambers: "Has God trusted you with His silence - a silence that has great meaning? God's silences are actually His answers. Just think of those days of absolute silence in the home at Bethany… His silence is the sign that He is bringing You into an even more wonderful understanding of Himself…" Person: Hmmm! What does that mean… the home in Bethany? Wasn't that where Mary, Martha and Lazarus lived? What days of absolute silence is he talking about? (Leafs through Bible) Here it is: John 11:
(Lights dim on Person, come up on scene stage right. Mary and Martha sit huddled together, weeping.)
Mary: Silence, nothing but silence. Why hasn't the Teacher come? We sent for Him four days ago. If He was here, He would heal Lazarus, I know He would.
Martha: (gets up and paces) Maybe the messenger was delayed. I wonder if we should send another.
Mary: It's too late now, Martha. Lazarus is near death. Could we have offended Jesus somehow? Why hasn't He sent word?
Martha: I don't understand, Mary. I know He cares for Lazarus. It doesn't make sense.
Mary: There's so little time left. There's nothing more we can do for our brother. (weeps)
Servant: (enters) Lazarus is dying. Come quickly!
(Mary and Martha exit, weeping softly. Lights dim and come up on Person.)
Person: It says here in John 11: "Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So when he heard that he was sick, He stayed two more days in the place where He was." He loved them… so he made them wait? Why? (Pause while he reads on.) Of course, then He raised Lazarus from the dead! Mary and Martha went through the pain of no answer from Jesus so He could show them God's power and glory by raising Lazarus from the dead! And they saw an even more powerful Jesus than they had thought possible! (Closes the Bible again.)
Person: I wonder what's in the package.
(Opens it and pulls out a small piece of paper with a scripture reference on it.)
Person: (reads) Genesis 16. (Opens Bible.) Oh, this is when Sarah grew tired of waiting for God's promise that she would bear a son, so she decided to take matters into her own hands. (Lights dim on Person and come up on other scene, stage right, where Sarah and Hagar confront each other.)
Sarah: I don't care for your attitude, Hagar. You must respect me as your mistress.
Hagar: I have no respect for a barren woman. I may be a servant, but I have conceived an heir for my master, unlike you, his wife. (Hagar exits, haughtily, as Abraham enters. Sarah sits and begins to weep.) Abraham: What is it, Sarah? What has disturbed you so?
Sarah: (angrily) It's all your fault. I gave my maid to you and when she conceived, she despised me. Now she torments me and treats me with disdain.
Abraham: God's silence has been difficult! It has been so long since God gave us the promise that we would be blessed with a son. It seemed like this would be the way to fulfill that promise, but it has brought nothing but trouble to us! Your maid is in your hand. Do to her as you please. (Lights dim on Abraham and Sarah, come up on Person.)
Person: (thoughtfully, reading again.) Even though Abraham had great faith, he still had doubts about God's promise. After all, he and Sarah were very old. But in spite of his doubts, he was patient and after 13 more years of God's silence, Sarah had a son, Isaac. Through him, Abraham became the father of a nation, like God promised. So Abraham learned to trust God and wait for His blessings. (Closes Bible)
Person: What else is in this box? …(pulls out another paper and reads:) Psalm 13… (looks it up)
Person: "How long, O Lord? Will You forget me forever? How long…"
(Light and voice fade on Person, come up stage right on David, praying, with Abishai seated nearby. David's voice fades in: )
David: … will You hide Your face from me? How long shall I take counsel in my soul, having sorrow in my heart daily? How long will my enemy be exalted over me?
Abishai: David, if you had only allowed me to kill Saul when we had the chance, you would not be in this danger!
David: The Lord forbid that I should stretch out my hand against the Lord's anointed!
Abishai: But you were anointed by Samuel to be King years ago! You are God's choice!
David: And I will have to wait on the Lord's timing to be able to take my place as Israel's King… someday, if I live.
Abishai: Has the Lord forgotten you?
David: Sometimes, it feels that way, Abishai. But I'm trying to be faithful… and patient!
Messenger: (rushing in) Saul and his troops are on the move again. We must flee!
(All three men exit in a hurry. Lights dim on stage right and come up on stage left.)
Person: Wow! Even David went through times when God was silent. I know God called David a man after His own heart and wasn't it through David's line that Jesus was born? What does the end of Psalm 13 say? (reads) "But I have trusted in your mercy; my heart shall rejoice in Your salvation. I will sing to the Lord because He has dealt bountifully with me." So, David learned wait on God and he became the greatest king in the "golden days" of Israel!
Person: Another example? (Pulls out another paper.) God's silence seems to be a pretty common theme in the Bible. Genesis 40 and 41. (Looks it up.) Oh, yeah - Joseph is in jail in Egypt.
(Lights dim on Person, come up on Joseph talking with the jailer.) Joseph: I wonder whatever became of the Pharaoh's chief butler? I was sure when God interpreted his dream through me two years ago, that he would speak to Pharaoh for me and get me released.
Jailer: You are useful to me here, Joseph. I don't want to lose you. Have you prayed to your God?
Joseph: Constantly, but He doesn't always tell me His plans. Sometimes His silence is disturbing. I try to keep my faith strong. From the time that I was a young boy, I sensed that God had a purpose for my life. But after being sold into slavery by my own brothers, falsely accused and imprisoned for years, I'm beginning to wonder if God has forgotten me.
Jailer: You know how highly I regard you, Joseph. Your God must still have His hand on you. Don't give up.
Joseph: (sighs) No, I won't. No matter how long it takes, I'll keep trusting my Lord.
(Lights dim on Joseph, come up on Person.)
Person: …and Joseph became second only to Pharaoh in the land of Egypt and God used him to save the lives of the Hebrews during the great famine! I see the pattern! (pulls out several slips of paper from the gift box) Noah, Abraham, Moses, Daniel, the disciples after Jesus' crucifixion… all experienced God's silence… and His greater blessing! They learned to wait on the Lord! (Pulls out the last piece of paper) Even Jesus, as He hung on the cross, cried out: "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me!"
Person: (puts away Bible and begins to pray) Father, thank you for the gift of Your silence. I know You haven't forgotten me. I will wait for Your direction in Your perfect timing. Thank-you for helping me know you better. In Jesus' name, Amen.
(Lights go out.)
Copyright Heather Cooper, all rights reserved. This script may be used with royalty payment, provided no charge is made for entrance to the performance. In return, the author would like to be told of any performance. She may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org