When you experience dry spiritual spells, try these five practices to reconnect to the Spirit of God.
Do you ever have seasons of your life when it feels like a song? Whether a happy or sad song, you in some way feel spiritually connected to those around you, in sync with the world around you. You notice that the songs playing on the radio are aligned with what is going on in your life and it moves you deep inside. Maybe you have a special moment where you are overcome with a sensational feeling . . .
And then maybe some seasons you feel nothing. You go through the motions, not feeling spiritually connected. Maybe you even feel like a stranger to yourself. When you find yourself in a season of spiritual dryness don’t be discouraged. Just as seasons change on earth, so they do in our hearts. However, there are things that we can do to alleviate these dry spiritual spells. Here are five things that you can do today to get yourself out of a spiritual funk.
This is probably my favorite way to rejuvenate my spiritual life. I also think that journaling is one of the most powerful spiritual things you can do to connect with yourself and with God. Simply taking the time to write down what you are feeling and what you are going through is a good way to analyze how you are doing on that particular day, and in that particular moment.
Journaling is also a good way to pray. It helps me to recognize my needs and speak them to God when I write them down on the page. This allows me to let go of the feelings of fear and anxiety. It’s almost like writing down these feelings on paper in a tangible way allows me to give them up. We are able to learn more about ourselves and God when we take the time to journal our feelings and prayers.
The book of Psalms tells us how to worship God. In the book of Psalms, we find answers to our deepest questions. For example, Psalm eight answers the questions “who am I?” and “why am I here?” The book of Psalms tells the stories of real people going through hardships, and how they applied God’s wisdom into their situations. The book of Psalms meets us where we are, in our sorrows, pain, and moments of joy. The book of Psalms takes us through every season of life as it is a record of thoughts and feelings from real people.. Psalms are biblical journal entries.
Maybe it is very hard for you to find time to sit down in a quiet place and journal and read scripture. Not all of us have the luxury of privacy or time to sit and be still. However, the beauty of prayer is that we can do it from anywhere and at any time.
Try this: repeat the words of one of these ancient prayers.
Prayer of St Francis
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me bring love.
Where there is offence, let me bring pardon.
Where there is discord, let me bring union.
Where there is error, let me bring truth.
Where there is doubt, let me bring faith.
Where there is despair, let me bring hope.
Where there is darkness, let me bring your light.
Where there is sadness, let me bring joy.
O Master, let me not seek as much
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love,
for it is in giving that one receives,
it is in self-forgetting that one finds,
it is in pardoning that one is pardoned,
it is in dying that one is raised to eternal life.
The Jesus Prayer
Lord Jesus Christ, son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.
The Lord’s Prayer
Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
for ever and ever.
Going out into creation
I have noticed in seasons of my life that I feel spiritually stagnant when I haven’t spent much time outside. It is proven that going outside reduces anxiety and provides a sense of peace. The beauty of going outside is that it gives us a chance to break free from things that may have been hindrances, such as relationship problems, financial issues, etc. Being in nature gives us space to breathe. It gives us a chance to step away from things that were fogging our brains. And when we do take that step into peacefulness it allows space for the holy spirit to work inside of us.
Read a devotional
This idea goes hand in hand with journaling. When I was a kid devotionals were very helpful for me to dive in and understand the Bible. Even now as an adult I find that reading devotionals is a good way for me to gain a new perspective on a biblical story. In fact, in times of spiritual dryness or difficulty one devotional that comes to mind is Streams in the Desert. This insightful read by L. B. Cowman guides readers through scripture and towards communion with God.
Reconnecting to our faith and spirituality can be a transformative experience. I think the first step in moments of spiritual dryness is to acknowledge the dryness and take the next steps to pull yourself out of that spell. The steps above are great initiatives to try. Maybe journaling isn’t for you, but maybe going on a hike is. We are all created uniquely so something that works for one person may not work for the next. Take a moment to reflect and see which one of these things you can implement into your spiritual practice
Picking two or even one of these things would be a great first step to getting out of a spiritual funk. It can be hard to find time to do these practices in our day to day lives, but I can guarantee that the benefits of these practices will make the sacrifice of time worth it. Just give it a week, and let the songs of the spirit flow back into this season of life.
~ Madison Myers is a graduate of The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, majoring in marketing.