When Prayer is Like My Grandma’s Rotary Phone.



When I was a little girl, I remember playing with my grandma’s rotary dial phone.

I loved the spin of the dial as each number was selected.
I loved the ‘click-click-click’ of the rotary as it resounded through the receiver.
I loved tangling my fingers in the cord, and seeing how far it would stretch across her flowery-wallpapered bedroom.

As I played, I would chatter into the receiver, pretending to carry on conversations with imaginary friends and family members.

It gave me hours of fun in my grandma’s upstairs.

But no matter how long I played, one thing remained constant:
The other side was always silent.

Until one day….when, unbeknownst to me, my grandma plugged the phone in.

And when I dialed my home number, something amazing happened.
My mom answered.

After what had felt like an eternity of silence…
there was finally a voice on the other end.

Friends, sometimes, my prayer life feels like that rotary dial phone.

I love the time alone with God.
I love the beauty of the Word as it ministers to my soul.
I love running my fingers through the pages of my journals or the Bible.

I can spend hours in prayer, chattering to God, carrying on conversation after conversation, asking question after question.

But sometimes, no matter how long I pray, it seems like the other side remains silent.

This silence is particularly evident when I’m asking questions:

God, why is there senseless violence in this world?
God, why do You allow natural disasters to destroy lives and dreams?
God, why do people have to witness horrific tragedies in my own hometown?

It can grow discouraging.
It can grow frustrating.

Maybe you’ve been there, too.

And if you have, you and I are in good company.

Because King David felt the same way.

Psalm 22 takes us to a low point in David’s life.

He’s holding that rotary telephone.
He’s twirling the cord.
He’s turning the dial.
He’s talking.



But he can’t bear the silence.
So he cries out with all he has:
God, pick up the phone!

“My God, my God, why have You forsaken me? Why are You so far from helping me, and from the words of my groaning? O My God, I cry in the daytime, but You do not hear, and in the night season, and am not silent.” Psa. 22:1-2 (NKJV)

And after 20 more verses of pleading, something amazing happens.

God answered.

“You have answered me.” Psa. 22:21 (NKJV)

When we find ourselves praying for that person…
That situation…
That question…
That frustration…
That confession…

And it feels like we’re holding an old, disconnected rotary phone,
don’t give up.

Keep praying.

God hears.
God answers.

In His time.
In His plan.

Like my grandma’s rotary phone…
One day, there will be an answer on the other end.

You can count on it.


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