We’ve all been there: those long, hard seasons in life when God feels distant, and as hard as we try, we can’t seem to find our way back to Him. We know we want to dive into our Bibles and find the verses whose truths will resound deeply within us, pray those prayers that will open the floodgates of Heaven, but nothing we do seems to help. If you’re wondering how to reconnect with God, these four time-tested strategies will help.
“How can I reconnect with God?” She touched my hand and leaned in. I could see her heart was hurting. She’d wiped her eyes repeatedly during Bible study and a vacant look overshadowed the usual sparkle in her eye.
“My husband and I are dealing with some heavy stuff,” she continued. “I’m not mad at God, but I really can’t connect with Him. I try to pray but my mind goes silent. When I read the Bible, I can’t even remember what I just read. How can I get closer to God again?”
Her question stirred something deep in my own heart. For entirely different reasons, I’d experienced the exact feelings she’d just described. I, too, felt spiritually dry—almost numb to the things of God. I couldn’t focus when I tried to pray or read His Word. My daily routines had completely evaporated, leaving me feeling like I was in a spiritual desert with no oasis in sight.
I’m sure she felt my hesitation—a pause in my response that seemed like hours to me, when only a second or two had passed. “It’s not easy, is it?” I began, knowing I needed to say something. At that moment I had no words of advice to offer.
I silently prayed and asked God to give me His wisdom and somehow help me help her.
HOW TO RECONNECT WITH GOD
When words came, they surprised me. They weren’t earth-shattering. Yet the way they spoke to my own spirit confirmed they didn’t originate from my mind, but from His divine counsel.
A threefold suggestion poured out and, as I sometimes do when I feel God leading a conversation, I wished I could take notes. I could almost feel the Lord’s smile, knowing the encouragement was for me as much as my friend.
Over the weeks that followed, I put this advice into practice and broke free from a few spiritual barriers of my own. To the best of my recollection, here is the encouragement the Lord prompted me to give:
SIT WITH HIM—QUIETLY
When I long to feel connected, one way I spend time with God is to set the timer on my watch for five minutes, then take that time to sit in silence with Him. I don’t pray. I don’t praise. I don’t seek His wisdom or direction. I just sit with Him, as if we were enjoying comfortable silence on a long car ride. The focus of ‘being’ with God while releasing any expectation of ‘doing’ helps me remember that He isn’t measuring my spiritual ‘performance’. He just wants me.
DO YOUR BIBLE READING—DIFFERENTLY
I’m often prone to putting too much pressure on myself to do what I think is the right thing.
Spiritual practices can easily become more of a ritual for the sake of checking them off my list than a manner of deepening my relationship with Jesus.
At times, I need to relieve the pressure I place on myself to get in the Word. There’s no question that Bible reading is crucial in our Christian walk. But when I can’t absorb what I read, it’s time for a different approach.
I might turn to a short daily devotional or try listening to the Word of God instead of reading it. Rather than pressing through a lengthy passage of Scripture, I write one verse on a note card and refer to it throughout the week. Breaking up a routine is a sort of reboot that can provide the clarity needed to start again.
There’s something about music that engages our mind, body, and spirit. Worshiping God through music turns my heart toward Him like nothing else. I adore turning up the worship music as loud as possible and praising God with all I have. The music penetrates my heart and mind and seeps deep into my soul.
It brings remarkable comfort to praise God for Who He—not for the things He’ll do, but for what He’s already done.
All of us have seasons when we feel distant from God. Sadly, we often try to hunker down in methods that have helped us feel connected to Him in the past. When our hearts aren’t fully engaged, this rarely works.
Instead of relying on past methods, changing up my routine—finding new ways to enjoy His presence—helped me reconnect with God and find spiritual refreshment. It reset my heart and pointed it afresh toward our loving God who is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8). I’m so glad my friend’s question prompted me to seek the Spirit’s guidance to reconnect with God, and I hope it encourages you, too.
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I keep trying to find four ways to overcome spiritual numbness here, but I only see three. I might suggest that the fourth could be making sure there isn’t sin hindering the relationship. Psalm 66:18 says “If I had cherished iniquity in my heart, the Lord would not have listened.” If we have any big, rebellious sins in our life, the Lord can seem far away because He’s giving us up to our sin, like it says in Romans 1.
Great suggestions! Another one that works for me is listening to contemporary Christian music. Often when I can’t find the words, I borrow theirs. It opens my heart back up to my First Love, even on those difficult days when I’m inclined to give God the silent treatment.