“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5)
The Christian life is meant to be one of reliance upon God, where the life of His Spirit continually flows in and through us.
However we do not always remain intimately connected to Him. As a result we experience times of spiritual dryness. 
7 Ways to Combat Spiritual Dryness
If you recognise signs of spiritual dryness in your life, following are some ideas to help you recover:
1. Break the Blame Cycle
When we are working hard, serving or ministering in some capacity, it is easy to lay blame for our dryness outside of us.
We may place responsibility for our depletion upon our busyness, our circumstances, or on other people.
However, as long as we are waiting for our situation or other people to change, we are disempowering ourselves.
Know that you can do something about spiritual dryness—it is time to take ownership of your spiritual condition and your relationship with God.
2. Recognise Your Deepest Need
‘I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour out my Spirit…’ Isaiah 44:3
According to scripture, the answer to spiritual dryness is intimacy with God and a fresh infilling of the Holy Spirit. Our need is for God Himself.
However, when spiritual dryness is related to Christian service or busy-ness, we often focus on external points of need:
- ‘I need a break’
- ‘I need help’
- ‘I need a change of responsibilities’
These needs may be genuine—and we should make definite plans to meet them. However, we should never ignore the real, underlying need:
‘I need to reconnect with God and be re-filled with His Spirit.’
3. Stop Deferring
A common response to spiritual dryness is to look beyond our present circumstances to some future time when we will have the space and opportunity to be refreshed.
This is the ‘I am waiting for…’ mindset:
- I am waiting for this busy season to be over—and then I will have time to spend with God
- I am waiting for assistance from another person
Let’s face it—circumstances may not change immediately. By continuing to put our spiritual needs on hold, we face the danger of moving from dryness to burnout.
Take action now. If you do not have a day, take an hour. If you do not have an hour, find a moment with God.
Sometimes, a moment is all it takes.
4. Reconnect with God
Jesus said, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink.” (John 7:37)
We need to do whatever it takes to get into a place where we encounter God. David spoke of this search in the Psalms:
‘As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?’ (Psalm 42:1-2)
For inspiration, recall previous times you have felt close to God or encountered Him in a significant way.
Acknowledge and repent of any areas of sin that the Holy Spirit brings to mind.
Recognise that you have a unique way of connecting with God. It may be through worship, or solitude, reflecting on Scripture, spending time with on-fire Christians, or taking time in the Great Outdoors. 
5. Ask God to Re-fill you
The best prayers are the simplest ones, such as
‘Father, fill me afresh with Your Spirit.’
In the book of Acts, when faced with persecution, the church knew that their greatest need was not for circumstances to change. It was for a fresh empowerment of the Holy Spirit.
In answer to their prayer, the Holy Spirit fell upon them and they were given boldness to speak, and power to serve God. (Acts 4:23-34)
6. Review and Re-Focus
Jesus only did what He saw the Father doing. No more, and no less. (John 5:19)
There were needs that He did not meet, because it was not in the Father’s timing or purpose for Him to do so.
Some traps we can fall into include believing that:
- Our role or ministry is indispensible
- No one else can do a job as well as we can
- Our work must always be done perfectly or at our own high standard (perfectionism)
Excellence honours God—but should never become more important than God.
If you can relate to this, I encourage you to review the story of Mary and Martha. 
7. Receive the Support of Others
In an extreme case of dryness, we need the help and support of others.
This may include:
- Being honest
- Asking for prayer
- Receiving assistance
In God’s Kingdom, this is not a sign of weakness, but of strength.
Your courage to align your life with God’s priorities will inspire others to do the same.
Do you have any more ideas for recovering from spiritual dryness that could help others? Do you have questions or experiences that you would like to share? Leave a comment in the box below. If the comments box is not visible, click on this link and scroll down.
See my earlier article, 7 Signs of Spiritual Dryness
 In this article I am specifically discussing spiritual depletion. However emotional, mental and physical fatigue can also occur, requiring additional needs to be met.
 For more thoughts on this, see
How To Discover Your Spiritual Pathway
Does Your Devotional Life Need Resuscitating?
How Using Your Learning Style Can Revitalise Your Bible Study
 I wrote an article about Mary and Martha here: The Most Important Decision You Can Make: 4 traps To Avoid in your Service for God
© Helen Calder Enliven Blog – Prophetic Teaching
On team with David McCracken Ministries: Prophetic Ministry That Empowers The Church
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Our Window of Opportunity
The start of a year can be a time in which we review our responsibilities for the coming year. We have a window of opportunity in which to decide which roles to keep or take on in our church, ministry, or other activities outside of our personal and family life.
Did you know that these are decisions that have eternal consequences?
The Day Martha Lost The Joy Of Serving Jesus
Martha was a good woman who, along with her sister Mary, became a disciple of Jesus. Jesus valued their hospitality and their home became a place of refreshing that He made use of as He travelled in and out of Jerusalem (Luke 10:38, John 12:1-2).
One day, Martha received Jesus into her home for dinner. But she became overloaded with her work preparing for the meal. To make matters worse, her sister Mary absconded from her kitchen duties and sat down to listen to Jesus’ teaching, leaving her to labour alone.
Finally, the stress became too much for Martha to bear. She marched into the room where Jesus was speaking and ordered Him to tell Mary to help her.
Far from the response Martha was looking for, Jesus took the opportunity to point out that she, not Mary, was in the wrong. Her attitude of care and worry over all the details of serving was unnecessary, and Mary had made the better, lasting choice.
Many of us can identify with Martha. I can! Martha had lost the joy of serving Jesus and was hindered from spending quality time with Him.
What were some of the reasons Martha got into this stressful place, and we do today? Here are some potential traps we need to avoid as we make decisions regarding our life and ministry in 2011.
4 Traps To Avoid in our Service for God
Trap #1: Maintaining High Standards
Perhaps Martha was preparing a 4 star meal, when Jesus and His friends would have been happy with much simpler fare. But Martha had a certain standard of hospitality in mind that she wanted to keep up. Maybe she had a reputation for quality hospitality that she wanted to live up to. That standard became a trap.
Prayerfully ask, ‘Are there any areas in my life or ministry that I am intent on maintaining a high standard could cause me stress? What is my motivation for this?
Ask, ‘What is the opportunity cost of meeting this high standard?’ What will I neglect by insisting that I meet my desired criteria? If the answer is, time to enjoy God, enjoy life, or enjoy your family, you may need to reduce your expectations or release the role.
Trap #2: Filling Gaps
Like Martha did, we can be tempted to fill any gaps left by other people. This is especially true when we have leadership responsibility. We want to provide a certain level of service and feel the ministry will fall over if we don’t step in.
Sometimes, others may place well-intentioned emotional pressure on us to fill a gap. If this is the case, stop! Step back and prayerfully ask yourself, family members and God if this is the right course for you to take.
Ask yourself, ‘What is the worst thing that can happen?’ Is this gap something I can trust God with, or am I trusting in my own efforts?
There may be other team members who will step into the void when it appears. They may not have the courage to do so until they see that their contribution is needed.
Even if this doesn’t happen, isn’t God’s grace big enough to make up the difference?
Realise that the worst thing that can REALLY happen is that you is that you fill the ministry gap and become stretched so thin you dry up, spiritually, emotionally, mentally, physically. Eventually the very thing you are working to keep will be lost to you.
Trap #3: Prioritising Service Above Relationship
Martha was so busy serving her guests that she didn’t take time to be with her guests. She had become so stressed that the most important part of hospitality, spending time WITH her Guest, was neglected.
Martha was conforming to a misguided value that serving Jesus by taking physical action is the most important thing a Christian can do.
Sometimes, like Martha, we embrace the same belief. This can arise out of urgency to meet a genuine need.
The dire circumstance of unreached people groups and lost people in our community heading towards a Christ-less eternity can become a driving force. For many years, my husband and I were involved in world missions. But many times we were in danger of neglecting personal and family issues as well as our personal relationship with Jesus.
More than once I have become so engaged in meeting needs until I had nothing left to give. I call this, ‘Christian service burnout.’
The presupposition is that our highest act of service to God is to offer all of our gifts, time and energy to the cause of Christ.
But is that really what Jesus wants?
Trap #4: Valuing Other People’s Opinions Above Our Devotional Life
Another trap we can fall into is to give way to the pressure of other people’s opinions or values. It is important to note that Mary did not allow Martha’s opinion to sway her from spending time with Jesus.
Be a Non-Conformist Like Mary
It takes courage not to conform to the expectations of others in our world—especially the opinions of other Christians! But we must have that courage if we will have Mary’s reward.
Watch out when your intention to release or bring focus to your ministry is resisted. It is understandable that you will be missed, but you are not irreplaceable.
As Christians, and prophetic people, the greatest investment we can make into our relationship with God, our spiritual gifts and ministries, is the personal time we spend with Jesus—our devotional life.
As you plan for this new year, will you value your relationship with Jesus above service?
That is the most important decision you can make as 2011 begins.
Face To Face With God: Can I Have A Relationship Like Moses?
Spiritual Renewal: Cafe Moments with God
When Your Devotional Life Is Dry: How To Fall In Love With The Bible Again
© Helen Calder 2009, 2011 Enliven Publishing
Now on team with David McCracken Ministries