Do you know what it’s like to feel spiritually dry? Do you ever wonder if you’re going through the motions? Maybe you feel as if you’ve stopped moving, spiritually, altogether.
We all have times when we need to be refreshed, refueled, and re-energized in our relationship with God. We can get so busy doing things for God that we forget to be with Him. Or, complacency can set in and before we know it we feel spiritually sluggish and lack the fervor we once had. Sometimes it’s ministry that leaves us feeling spent, and sometimes it’s just life taking a toll on us.
I remember those times. And I wrote about them – as well as what to do in spite of them – in my book, When You’re Running on Empty. Since then, I’m often asked by others what they can do to recharge their spiritual battery, especially during seasons of feeling drained physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
Whenever I feel spiritually dry, I open up the Psalms — the Bible’s “song book” — and stay there for as long as it takes for God’s Word to recharge my spiritual batteries.
The Psalms in Scripture are all songs written by songwriters who felt many of the same emotions we feel today. There are songs of praise, songs of confession, and songs of frustration and disillusionment. There are even songs written because the writers felt spiritually dry, themselves. But the one thing I love about the Psalms is that they each focus on God and bring us back to the right heart and perspective. They also stir up our love for the Lord and His Word.
David, the Psalmist, was often feeling down and dried out. In his songs he referred to it. He could have been experiencing depression, burnout or just plain frustration at how life was treating him. In many songs David starts out on his face in pity, but then gets up on his knees in prayer, and that leads him to end his songs on his feet in praise. (See Psalm 13 as an example of this progression often seen in the songs of Scripture.)
If you’re feeling flat on your face or just needing to rev up so you can be back on your feet in praise and service for the One you love, here’s something to try.
Here are three ways you can recharge your spiritual battery in the Psalms:
1. Journal through the Psalms. I’ve been doing this for years. Start with Psalm 1 and each day, write out a different Psalm in your journal. Then personalize it by rewriting certain portions of the Psalm in your own words as a prayer to God. If you’re used to a particular translation, I encourage you to try one you’re not as familiar with and note how the words resonate with your heart. (The New Living Translation, Contemporary English Version, or The Message are great ones to try for devotional purposes (as opposed to the New American Standard, New King James Version, or English Standard Version, which are better options for study.) End each journal entry with a one-sentence prayer asking God to reignite your heart based on what you’ve read.
2. Pray through the Psalms. When it comes to praying through the Word, the Psalms is an easy and beautiful place to start – or continue – that. Psalm 145 is a favorite one of mine to pray through. Praying through a Psalm involves reading each line aloud and then praying it back to God however the Spirit leads. For example, Psalm 145:16-17 says:
“You open your hand;
you satisfy the desire of every living thing.
The Lord is righteous in all his ways
and kind in all his works.”
I would pray those verses back to God by saying:
“Thank You, God, that You hold within Your hands all that I need to be satisfied. Satisfy me with only You. I praise You for being righteous in all Your ways and kind in all You do. Help me to trust Your righteousness and kindness in all that I bring before You, rather than being cynical and, at times, expecting the worst.”
3. Sing through the Psalms. Pick a Psalm a day (or maybe even two or three) and sing them. That’s right, sing them. They were each written to music and originally meant to be sung. You might recognize some that have been set to music in recent years. Or, just make up a tune based on the mood you sense in the text. Make each psalm your personal song of worship to God.
Through time in God’s “song book” you can recharge your spiritual battery and reignite your love for Him and His Word, once again.
Cindi McMenamin is a national speaker and author of several books that help women and couples find strength for the soul. For more ways to refresh, refuel, and re-energize spiritually, emotionally, and physically, order her book, When You’re Running on Empty, or for resources to help you listen for God’s voice, slow down and rest, or find comfort in His character and His Word, see her website: www.StrengthForTheSoul.com.