Please pray for me today and tomorrow. I am away on a brief retreat for prayer, reading, and writing. The writing project I am working on is my upcoming book Brass Heavens: Reasons for Unanswered Prayer to be published by Cruciform Press.
Brass heavens were part of God’s warning to His chosen people Israel as a consequence of neglecting to obey His commands. In the list of the curses of disobedience given by Moses as the nation prepared to enter the Promised Land, which dominate most of Deuteronomy 28, we find this statement: “And thy heaven that [is] over thy head shall be brass, and the earth that [is] under thee [shall be] iron” (v. 23; KJV). Most recent translations use “bronze” instead of “brass,” but the meaning is the same.
Admittedly, this verse in its context has nothing to do with prayer. Rather, it is a warning from God that periods of drought would be one of many curses, or consequences, of Israel’s rebellion. The skies would appear promising, but instead the clouds would be unable to bring forth rain. The lack of rain would then result in the earth below becoming like iron, unable to be tilled for fruitful agriculture—ultimately leading to famine. In other words, Deuteronomy 28:23 is not a warning to disobedient people that God will shut His ears to them, making it seem as though there is a brass ceiling preventing their prayers from reaching Him. That simply must be said. Nevertheless, the expression brass heavens has become a common expression among Christians of past ages because it well describes the silence of God, the drought of answered prayer, and the famine-like characteristics of spiritual unfruitfulness that believers may sometimes experience in our faith-walk with the invisible God. Therefore, it is a fitting analogy. Periods of silence from God test our faith and may be used by him to heighten our spiritual sensitivities in order to draw us into a closer walk of intimate fellowship and obedience.
The purpose of this book is to search the Scriptures for some of the reasons God appears to “go silent,” that his hearing becomes impaired. As we examine some of the causes of unanswered prayer we will also discover the biblical means by which we may open His ears to our voice once again.
Please pray for me today and tomorrow, that the Holy Spirit will empower and guide me, as I work on this project!