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I can feel myself becoming more and more distant to God. I am not praying or reading the bible anymore. How can I rebuild my connection with God?
Thank you so much for your question. You are right to be concerned about your relationship with God as we were created to be in fellowship with him. Sadly, as a result of human sinfulness "There is no one who seeks after God" (Romans 3:11). We have a tendency to think we don't need God.
However, there is hope in Jesus Christ. He has died for your sins, meaning that you can have boldness to enter the Holy Place by the blood of Jesus (Hebrews 10:9). If you are a Christian, he has also given you new desires. The Holy Spirit in you makes you desire relationship with God. When you are in heaven, only the Spirit will remain and you will only desire God eternally.
The problem is on earth this spiritual part is at war with what the Bible calls the flesh. The flesh isn't your body necessarily, but rather what the Bible calls the part of you that desires to do what God doesn't want you to do. Galatians 5:17 says the flesh lusts [or desires] against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. This inner battle is the reason we struggle to do what is right.
Realising there is a battle going on inside you is the first step. Many Christians follow their desires without thinking whether it is a desire of the Spirit or the flesh. You need to commit yourself to obeying the desires of the Spirit and ignoring the desires of the flesh. How can you do this?
The Bible would tell you to talk to yourself. Not necessarily out loud, but you need to talk to yourself about God. We see this in the book of Psalms. Psalm 42 tells us of a man who thirsts for God (Psalm 42:2). He is going through a tough time: tears have been my food day and night (Psalm 42:3). Yet to bring himself around, he talks to himself about God.
Why are you cast down, O my soul and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God. (Psalm 42:5)
He reminds himself to trust God and reminds himself what an amazing saving God he has. It might be helpful for you to do the same when you come to him in prayer and Bible reading. Say something like this:
"Soul, stop complaining that you are tired or that you want to be doing anything else. Remember the amazing God you have the honour of coming to this morning. He is a loving Father, who takes great joy in seeing you come to him. He is the Son, who died the most terrible death to take away your sin. He is the Spirit, who fights within you against your sinful desires. Why would you not want to find out about him? Read his word to be reminded of what an awesome God he is. Pray to him and praise him for all he has done."
In doing this kind of thing you are entering the battle, and controlling your desires rather than letting your desires control you. And if you still struggle, remember you are not saved by how exciting your devotional life is. God accepts you because of Jesus. Doing this is for your good, it is not a duty. So keep fighting on, knowing any failures will not make him love you any less than he already does.
In summary, we can say what the Psalmist says, my soul is cast down within me; therefore I will remember you (Psalm 42:6). Whenever you feel like you don't want to pray, focus on how great he is.
I do hope this general answer to your question goes some way to helping you find peace with God through Jesus Christ our Lord. If you want to know more about what Jesus has done for you please watch the video on the main part of our site: www.lookingforGod.com
In closing, I want to encourage you to get more involved with your local church. It would be good to speak to a Christian leader or another trusted church individual regarding your question. I know they would be delighted to further answer you as well as offer prayer and support as you continue your spiritual journey: www.lookingforgod.com/churchfinder
Please use our Interactive Answer Matrix and feel free to ask another question. Our helpful staff are praying for you and waiting to try and answer to you from the Bible, and will be delighted to tell you more about Jesus Christ the Lord, the Saviour of the world. www.lookingforgod.com/your-questions
Here are some more Bible Verses for your further consideration:
- Psalm 42:1-11
- Psalm 119:1:1-8
- Psalm 19:7-14
*All Scripture references are taken From The New King James Version of the Holy Bible unless stated otherwise
*If anything in this answer affects you directly, then please feel free to call our confidential prayer line in the UK on 0845 4567729, where trained Christian volunteers will take your call and pray both for you and with you. If you are outside of the UK then you may submit your request for prayer on line at www.ucb.co.uk/prayerline
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