By Ashley Roe, Contributing Writer
There have been times throughout my life where I simply found it hard to open my bible or pray. I wanted to be closer to God but I felt distant from Him and I didn’t know why. I just felt spiritually drained and dry.If you ever find yourself in a season like this or if you are just stuck in a rut when it comes to your time with God, these 15 tips will help give you some ideas to bring you back to a fruitful and fulfilling relationship with the Lord.
1) Make it a priority and be consistent.
Try to set a time each day that you spend alone with God. The length and time of day you do this will entirely depend on your unique situation. The important thing is that it becomes a habit.
2) Find a quiet place.
Find a quiet place where you can be alone and focus on your time with the Lord. This helps to minimize distractions and allows you to get the most from this time. This may not always be possible but do it as often as you can.
3) Use a bible study model as a guide.
I often felt like I had no clue where to start when studying my bible so using a model like SOAP is a good way to structure your study. For more about this method read this post about how to SOAP your quiet times by Good Morning Girls.
4) Find a new bible study.
Maybe you just need a change of pace or something different. If I find myself bored with a bible study or reading plan I have a hard time sticking with it. The good news; there are a lot of great options for free bible studies online. You could also go to your local bookstore or library and see books you can find.
5) Join a small group or bible study at your church.
I am currently working through Priscilla Shirer’s bible study on Gideon. This is the first time I’ve joined a women’s bible study and I cannot even begin to tell you how many ways I have been blessed by it.
6) Start your own bible study.
Start your own bible study or gathering with some co-workers, neighbors or friends. Use the time to study the bible, talk about what God has been teaching you and pray for each other. If you are not sure how to start, check out Praise and Coffee for some ideas.
7) Get some accountability.
Another common problem with sticking to a quiet time and bible study routine is lack of accountability. Knowing that you have someone to turn to for encouragement and advice might just be the motivation you need. Find a friend relative or even an online group to help fill this need.
8) Use a topical study guide.
I have a couple of books with scripture references of various topics. These come in handy whenever I want to find a verse about a specific issue. For example, I could look up prayer, peace or trust and find a list if relevant verses. If you don’t have a book like this, you can easily find topical verses through a simple Google search or website like bible gateway.
9) Just write.
Journaling is a great way to get out your thoughts and is a very cathartic experience. My Senior year of college, I was a part of a bible study led by one of my English-Literature professors. We wrote a journal through Psalm 139. Our only guidelines where to write out one verse and then just write about it every day for a week. Sometimes I would just write my thoughts or prayers, other times I wrote poetry or some sort of prose. You could also do the same thing by choosing any passage or verse and just writing what comes to mind.
10) Listen to worship music.
Sometimes, I just need to listen to music and let the words and melodies soak in. In college we had Sunday night worship services. This was always my favorite part of the week because it gave me the opportunity to connect with God in a special way before I entered into another week. I also like to play certain worship songs that I know will lift my spirits. For some ideas check out my you-tube playlist called worship for the soul.
11) Get outside.
Get away from the noise of everyday life and allow God to speak to your soul. Find a secluded spot somewhere or go for a walk. Listen to the sounds around you and allow God to show you the beauty of his creation. Some of the times I feel closest to God are when I am out by a pond in the woods, on a hill at night watching the stars or on a beach watching the sun set.
12) Make a list of things you are thankful for.
When life is hard, It is easy to focus on the negative things and even neglect to spend time with the Lord. I have found that a shift in perspective to the blessings in my life helps give me much more joy and peace.
13) Just pray.
Talk to God like you would a close friend. Tell him how you are feeling and ask him to help you get over this dry spell. I think it is helpful to write these prayers out, but that isn’t necessary. It’s important that you just find time to keep an open dialogue with God.
14) Don’t neglect fellowship with other believers.
It is easy to skip church and seclude yourself when you feel like you are in a season of spiritual dryness. However, these are the times when you need to be filling your spirit with fellowship and good teaching more than ever.
15) Give yourself grace.
Don’t get down on yourself if you miss a day of your bible study or get too busy to take a few minutes to pray. While I definitely don’t recommend neglecting this area of life, don’t let a slip up make you feel defeated. I have found that if I always feel like I have to catch up I am more likely to quit or always feel behind. So if possible, just pick up where you left off and go from there.
If you find yourself in a dry season spiritually, can I challenge you to pick just one thing from this list that you will commit to doing? Also, please know that you are not alone in this struggle and that God is still with you. No matter how tough life gets, he promises to never leave or forsake you.
Which tips above have worked well for you?
What other tips do you have?