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When Your Prayers Run Dry

Practical tips, excerpted from Guideposts Daily Planner, to help you through challenging times.

By John Sherrill, Hingham, Massachusetts

WEB EXCLUSIVE

At one time or another everyone runs into a spiritual dry spell, that period when the reality of God seems to evaporate and even prayer seems strained and difficult. Perhaps you feel that kind of exhaustion now. Take heart; there are steps you can take to get out of your spiritual desert.

1. Don’t worry.
Accept the situation quietly. Don’t aggravate it; don’t dwell on it.

2. Turn to secular interests.
Try some relaxing activity like gardening, sports, a movie, a book. If we try to keep ourselves spiritually productive and growing at every moment, the growth will be forced and we’ll be like one of those leggy plants that is all stem and no bloom. 

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3. Experiment.
While waiting out your dry period, try some changes. Volunteer for a completely different kind of church or community work. Try a different type of prayer.

4. Realize that dry periods are the result of our exhaustion, not God’s.
Most people who are experienced in prayer maintain their regular devotions right through such times, realizing even though they may feel as if they are not getting through to God, God is there just the same, listening.

Remember, no one escapes these periods of spiritual waste. Be ready for them. Commit them to God so that at the end, all things, even the desert places of our lives, may be seen to have worked together to the glory of God.