Have you ever been in a Christian slump when your prayer time goes stale?
Your Bible seems to be lifeless and church just seems like something you just do because you’re supposed to do it.
A lot of people would never admit it, but this happens all the time to Christians.
Earlier in my Christian walk, people would call the slump a “wilderness season”. What a great way to explain it. You feel like you are out in a spiritual wilderness: wandering, searching, and seeking only to seemingly be alone. Worship is as dry as saltine crackers crumbled in a zip lock bag.
Don’t fake it…it’s ok.
I don’t know why some Christians often pretend like everything is “ok” 365 days of the year. Stuff happens. Wilderness or dry seasons happen.
It’s that sort of phoniness that makes the world label us “hypocrites” and ”fakes” Or worse, it leads them to believe that once they accept Christ, they will simply “tip toe through the tulips” until Jesus returns.
What a load of hooey!
Along the same lines, there are some self-righteous church members that argue angrily against the very possibility that a Christian can be bored with God or church.
“Who are you to be bored in your Christian walk?”
“You are nothing in comparison to God, how dare you!”
“You must have sin in your life to say such a thing!”
My answer: shut up!
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Love relationships with humans are especially hot messes because both parties are human, flawed and frail.
But, in your supernatural love relationship with the Lord, there is only one frail person – you. So, there are times when YOU “feel” differently about things. There are times you do things to create a hiccup in fellowship.
There are times God backs up like a parent teaching their kid to ride a bike. They let the kiddo get their rhythm of the peddling and then back off so the child can see what they are capable of doing.
Have you ever heard Bishop G.E. Patterson’s CD?
On it, he tells the story of a couple who had been married for years.
During the earlier years, the couple cuddled while driving as the wife would lovingly scoot across the car seat to be nearer to her love. As the years progressed, the cuddling stopped. She found herself sitting farther and farther from her husband … near the passenger-side door,
One day the wife raised an accusatory tone to her husband and asked: “Why is it we don’t sit close anymore in the car?”
The husband responded by saying something like “Well, the steering wheel is still here. I’m in the same spot. I wasn’t the one who moved.
The same is true for us. God didn’t move. God hasn’t moved. If prayer is boring to you…it’s you. It’s not God. You moved, your heart may have moved.
There are several examples in scripture of wilderness seasons. The prophet was in a wilderness season when the raven brought him food at the bequest of the Lord. Read I Kings 17.
Paul likely felt in a wilderness season when he “despaired of life” in 2 Corinthians 1:8, life got hard and he felt alone.
Hannah had a wilderness season in I Samuel as she felt she less than what she should be as a childless woman.
It’s not a sin to be down, bored or feel disconnected at times.
The blessing is though we may feel that way, we are not. We are never alone. We are never abandoned.
During those seasons, the best thing you can do is to:
1. Stay your course. Do not stop reading your Bible, praying alone with God of attending church. Sometimes to get the feelings you once had, you have to do the things you once did. Don’t stop. Your season will soon end and you’ll feel your connection with the Lord again. Don’t move to the other side of the car.
2. Appeal to the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is your Helper. He is real. He understands what you feel and how your struggle. He will lead you and guide you. He’ll take care of you just like that raven that fed Elijah in his wilderness. Be patient with yourself and allow the Holy Spirit to minister to you. No need to talk through your prayer time. He knows. Just rest in His presence thinking only of the Lord. It’s during those times you will gain strength.
3. Confide in someone who is mature and loves the Lord. You need someone made of flesh to encourage you in the Lord and remind you of His promises. Be wise and allow God the show you who to share your struggles with; people can be very hurtful, but the right ones can be very helpful too. Once you confide your “boredom”, they will likely have some suggestions. I’ll bet they have been there too at one point. Again, pray about whom you should confide in, ok?
4. Worship like a mad woman. I simply don’t understand why more ministers don’t teach on the power of worship. Instead, they sit in the pulpit like the “frozen chosen” during worship. I think perhaps, they do not know the power of the worship themselves. But, let me tell you, worship is a key victory. When you worship, and focus on the matchless Savior, your problems and even your feelings begin to minimize in light of His greatness. I don’t care if you have music or not, just begin to declare (out loud) your praises:
“God you’re amazing in your strength, wisdom and power”.
“Lord there is no one like you in heaven and earth”.
“You alone are God and besides you there is no other god”.
“I glorify your name.”
“I praise you.”
“I worship you!”
If you do not know how to worship, visit Psalms. Search them out and you’ll learn.
5. Change your inner narrative. Instead of touting that you are depressed, bored with Christianity or burned out, declare your victory. Speak in faith for how you will soon feel.
Say to yourself:
“Lord, I don’t’ feel like I’m victorious now, but I know I am because your death and life guaranteed it”.
“Father, I am thankful that I don’t have to rely on my feelings, because I walk by faith. By faith, I know I am whole, I am healed and I am filled with the Spirit.”
Note: Feelings have little place in a mature relationship. You may not “feel” like a lot of things most of the time, but you do it because you love the one you’re committed to. Ask any married person.
I hope these tips helped you. I hope you know that sometimes you may not feel like the victorious, beautiful Christian you are. That’s ok. No one is “up” all the time and if they are…they are lying.