Hey friends, Crystal Rodenbaugh here with Tenfold Counseling Group. You are joining me here today in a quaint little chapel to talk about something that I hear frequently come up in my counseling practice. Our topic today is that of spiritual dryness.
Typically, after a few initial sessions in my office, I will hear from someone that they are struggling in their faith. They can’t remember the last time that they felt or heard from God and when they stop long enough to listen, they hear nothing. Sometimes they confess they feel shame for even admitting that and even go on to say that there must be something wrong with them. But what I gently remind them in that moment is that God is near and that He does want to speak. We then go on to talk about how to set up that moment so they no longer feel disconnected. I want to do that today with you as well. So if this sounds like where you are right now, settle in a little bit closer and let’s talk about it.
There are two things that are crucial to setting up this moment of listening, which I think includes space and discernment. What I mean by that is what kind of space are you inviting God to speak into and then how are you discerning if you hear and what you hear from Him. Often times we pray in times of distress, fear, and panic. We desperately need God to intervene and so we turn to prayer and we beg Him to fix or heal or come into the situation and just do something that will alleviate our discomfort. Then there are other times where for the most part things are going ok but we just don’t feel His presence. We may think we have hit a plateau spiritually and just not see the radical growth that may have been there before. So then when we pray, our heart isn’t convinced and we feel stagnant. Regardless of where you are on that spectrum, what kind of space are you creating for Him to speak? And before you answer that question, I want you to remember that you have a relationship with God. The reason I point that out is because I think sometimes we can get caught up in the answers to our prayers. We know what outcome we want to have right and so throwing up our prayer is affirmation that that must be God’s will too. And while that could be very true, I think we often miss out on the relational piece of prayer.
Praying is just like having a conversation. And if we aren’t creating that space to hear and listen, versus just speaking and asking, we might hang up the phone before He even has a chance to speak.
So, my challenge for you is the next time that you begin to pray or journal or read your Bible I want you to start off with, “what might you want to say to me Lord. I am open and I am listening for you.” And then I want you to sit in that uncomfortable silence and just listen.
In regards to the second piece of discernment, as you are listening, think about what impressions do you feel? What thought or emotion keeps rising up for you? Is there an idea or an image that is stirring or nudging? As you are trying to hear from God, remember that it is His desire to speak to you, so remain open to whatever that may look like. And if you feel yourself getting distracted easily, focus on your breaths and your senses and pull your focus back to the present moment. Anyway, thanks for engaging in this topic with me today, and I look forward to hearing your stories of what God is saying to you. Thanks for joining us here at Your Story Unfolded and until next time.