Into the Dark Night: When There Seems No Response to Prayer and Intention

spiritual dark nights

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Much has been said on this website, in my classes and in other places how it is possible to intend or ask for a dream or specific piece of intuitive information to help heal or resolve an issue. All that is possible but I would be very remiss if I did not say that there are times or a long period of time when all the praying or intending seems to produce no immediate or apparent result, no matter how often one prays and intends. This can be a very difficult experience if one has become accustomed to receiving answers in dreams or meditation. Often, it is enough to make one lose heart and give up on the practice.

What to Keep in Mind

This period of darkness has had many names in spiritual practice. A common one that has held over the centuries is The Dark Night of Soul. It has also been described as a dry period when there is no productivity or creativity. A sense of being lost and or a profound feeling of emptiness are yet other descriptive characteristics. Here are some pointers to keep in mind if you are experiencing this phenomenon:

  • It often comes after one has achieved a certain degree of maturity or achievement in one’s spiritual practice, and it often itself is an indicator of progress made—which is something to keep in mind and consider as a source of encouragement to keep going.
  • It may last for a while but usually it is temporary.  One can go through many “dark nights” or a very long one in one’s life.
  • It is a very important part of the spiritual growth process because it is like a test, challenging your resolve, patience and capacity to seek more insight in difficult situations.
  • It makes one realize that getting what one wants through positive thinking and intentionality isn’t as easy as some of the New Age proponents would like you to believe. It’s not all a rose garden.
  • If undergone with fortitude, faith and patience, just as day follows the night, it often heralds a new beginning, a breakthrough or a transformation—making all the confusion, frustration and isolation and lostness all worthwhile!

I have found these dark times to be reflected in dreams with images of the full moon in a dark sky, of being lost in a foreign city, or the lack of dreams and insight altogether—even when I pray or intend them. For me these kinds of dreams or lack of dreams are clues telling I am going through a Dark Night period. It happens to all of us on the spiritual journey. But remember, answers come when they are meant to come, and when we truly need them. So keep intending and praying for the dreams and inspiration you need. Guidance will come!

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