Prior to the past few months, I was going through a season of spiritual drought. It was brought on by several things, but I mostly contribute it to being so consumed by the difficulty of daily life during that season that my glance was taken away from God.
Have you ever experienced a dry soul as a Christian? You feel weary down to your core, in a way that no amount of earthly rest can satisfy. Deep down you know that you’re hungering for the Word of God, but yet you can’t muster up the motivation for morning quiet time. Or, if you do, you find yourself staring blankly at the pages and leave having absorbed nothing. You know you need to pray, but when you start you feel as if you have no words to speak and your mind wanders. You see other parts of your life: your relationships, your impatience, your anxiety, once again start to deteriorate or take over. This pattern continues to get worse and worse until finally you get to the point where you stop trying to cultivate your relationship with God even at all.
What do you do to overcome such a season? Sometimes, the cause of it is not something you can simply get rid of and move on. For instance, you may be a pastor’s wife in spiritual drought because you’re pouring, pouring, pouring into your congregation and receiving very little in return. Or, maybe like me, you’re so overwhelmed by your to-do list and work schedule that you’ve failed to cultivate your Christian walk. So, if you can’t get rid of the cause, what can be done?
Finding relief from spiritual drought when you’re a Christian is rarely going to be an overnight transformation; it’s actually a lot like beginning a workout routine. You create a plan, and then you wake up and do it no matter what. Sometimes, you really won’t feel like doing it. Other days, you’ll love every moment. But, the main purpose is that over time you’re going to see changes that develop into habits. Just like your body grows stronger when you’re consistent with good exercise, your spiritual life grows stronger with discipline as well.
The best way to get out of a spiritual drought is to read and pray, whether you feel like it or not.
Choose a book of the Bible to read, or a devotional that will guide you through large chunks of scripture. I advise choosing something in which you’re immersed in God’s word daily, not only works in which writers simply reference a verse and then move on. If you’re in spiritual drought, you need to chug the water of God’s word, not man’s.
But what if you feel like you can’t pray? Well, the very best news is that the Bible tells us the Spirit helps us in our weakness, “interceding with groaning too deep for words” (Romans 8:26). However, there is also a very practical way to pray when you feel as if you have no idea what to say: pray using words from scripture, especially the Psalms. If you would like to learn more about how to pray using words from Scripture, I highly recommend Praying the Bible by Donald S. Whitney. Once you are acquainted with the practice, She Reads Truth is currently doing a study called “Psalms for Prayer.”
Once you are reading a praying on a regular basis, then take a look at the other aspects of your spiritual life. Are you fully invested in the life and ministry of the local church? Are you sharing in your daily walk with fellow believers in fellowship, encouragement, love, and support? Are you giving financially to the work of the Gospel, even if you can afford very little?
Spiritual drought usually ends when we do the things that we feel like we don’t want to do, like reading scripture and praying. This is because, even though our hunger isn’t there, it’s the very thing that we need the most. Prioritize your spiritual discipline, and I believe you will see God work through that to grow you in grace and bring you out of drought.