If you’re like me, you go through periods of your life that you don’t feel as close to God as you would like. Keith Green said it well in the introduction to his song “Make My Life a Prayer to You” when he said that it’s not so much anything he’s doing (as in sin) but the things he’s not doing. I know I should read the Bible, spend more time in prayer, be more excited to go to church and worship God, and exemplify the faith of a true believer more throughout my daily life.
Psalm 42:1-2 says “As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God. My soul thirsts for the living God.”
My college president Dr. Mark Rutland spoke about that verse during a chapel service one time and I’ll never forget it. Most of us have heard this verse plenty of times in sermons and in songs, and we know it presents the idea of longing for God. But what do you do when you’re not feeling that kind of passion? What if, being honest with yourself, you can say that you are not longing for God? He said that your prayer can be “God, I want to long—to long for you.” We can ask the Holy Spirit to help give us the desire to draw closer.
I try to find any practical thing to help me. I might try to read the Bible in a different version so it seems a little more fresh to me. I will change my routine of when or where I pray. Just sitting outside or finding a new spot might prepare my mind. Sometimes I’ll write my prayers out and that helps me focus—and I find that my prayers come out a little differently. I also try to set themes in my prayers such as praying for a cause, or focusing only on being thankful for all God has done.
Getting involved and volunteering is also a good way to revitalize your spiritual life. When you serve you’re thinking of others and praying for them which focuses your spirit. Try attending a mid-week service, small group meeting or other special event for a change of pace.
Since music is so powerful, I have some go-to songs that always inspire me. One of them is U2’s “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For,” the live version with a choir they recorded on Rattle and Hum. It gives me chills every time. It makes me think about religion and ritual and how we may have been around the Church for a long time, but what we really need is an encounter with the living God.
What are some ways you’ve used to spark your passion for God again?