Why go through dry seasons in faith?

Sometimes we go through dry patches in our faith, where we can’t ‘feel’ God close by even if we know the Bible says He is. I know someone who has been going through this where God feels distant, and I wondered how you might encourage them in this phase of life? What might God be doing in our lives through these times?


In my introduction to UP I described a shift from a sin management focused Christian life to a focus on being an ambassador of Christ to bring His reconciliation to the world. That shift was the result of learning how to share the gospel with simple reproducing tools and to testify of God’s faithfulness. That shift was also the catalyst for a personal revival that brought me out of a season of dryness that was characterized as desiring God and trying so hard to get His attention. I was also weighed down by a very real struggle with sin, that only seemed to drive me further from God.

The training my wife and I learned centered on learning how to share the Gospel and planting house churches. We learned a set of tools and processes that are collectively referred to as No Place Left. To answer your question about how to encourage your friend, I’d suggest inviting them into discipleship. So much of my discipleship experience focused on gaining knowledge, but the NPL toolset is focuses on gaining skills. Skills to start gospel conversations, to multiply God’s image on the earth, and fulfill the great commission. I hope this come across as a sales pitch because there’s nothing to sell. I’m just sharing what God used to revitalize my relationship with Him.

There are NPL practitioners around the world and here’s a link to look them up.
NoPlaceLeft International Coalition

There is such a wide array of answers to this question, but I hope it’s safe to say that God may be drawing us to something different. Something different in our relationship with Him or something different in our life. For my season of dryness, I’d say that God was shifting my viewpoint of how to do church, and I’d say that I’m still in the middle of that shifting. But it was that season of dryness that left me thirsty for something different from what I was already doing and open to receive the shifting.

I hope this helps. I prayed that God helps you encourage your friend and that God makes his purposes clearer and clearer.


Hi @Alison,

Thanks so much for your question. I am so sorry for your friend but what a great opportunity for you to come alongside your friend at this time. As I look at my own life and the dry seasons I have experienced, the reasons have not always been the same. So it may be good to get a better understanding of where your friend is at. I appreciate the input you have received from @chris. A small community may provide the love, support and accountability we need to get back on track. Serving someone else also takes away the focus of ourselves and returns some of that joy. But if there is a deeper cause that hasn’t been dealt with, a change in structure/habits may not be that helpful.

During dry times, more than anything what has helped me the most is a fresh conviction from God’s word in prayer. Unfortunately when we are going through dry times in our faith, we tend to get stuck in the vicious cycle of doubting the love of God and prayerlessness. Below are some steps I would suggest as these have been helpful to me in the past to break out of passionless prayer -

  • Confess any lack of faith in God’s love. It was important to choose to believe God at His word that He loved me even though I didn’t feel it. Studying bible passages about God’s love was especially helpful.
  • Work on any hopelessness, unforgiveness or bitterness against God or anyone else continually. We have all had hurtful experiences and the Lord doesn’t want us to bear the burden alone. He is there to bear our yoke.
  • Pray using scripture – from Psalms or the Lord’s prayer as a guide. While we can always choose to pray our heart aloud, it can be easy to get distracted during dry times of faith. Scripture reduces distractibility and helps get around emotions that could interfere with praying in His will. It also helps to replace lies we play in our minds unknowingly about ourselves, others, our situation or God with God’s truth.
  • Approach Him with an attitude of thankfulness. Many a times the reason prayer is ineffective is because of the posture of our heart. Taking the time to reflect on ourselves and thanking God for His goodness and His blessings can help us turn around.
  • Finally, consistency is key. Initially it is often difficult to focus but after a few days of going through these steps for 20-30 minutes daily, by asking God’s help and by trusting prayers from others, more often than not, I have been able to come out of the dry season of faith. In fact, I may just go through these steps all over again! I could also use a fresh dose of understanding of God’s love and grace!

As to your question of why God is doing this? Perhaps it is to take us to a greater level of dependency on Him. When we know what dry times are like, we would seek Him more and help someone else on a similar path.

I hope this will be helpful to you and your friend. I pray God gives you the right words to lift your friend’s spirits up.


Hey Alison, this is a pretty important question. I’ve had people ask this and many Christians would actually respond with “Sorry I don’t know, only God does so you need to pray more and ask him to tell you.” Which would frustrate the other party more as it is precisely because they can’t hear from God that they ended up in a dry season to begin with.

One of the possible reasons as to why one might feel spiritually dry could be because one has been so focused on studying Christianity and neglecting a relationship with their creator. One might inherently know that God is there for them but don’t necessarily believe that that is the case. “Why does what I know not not apply to my reality?” It is demoralizing when this happens to us.

Just as what the others said, there is a reason to the seasom of dryness. Perhaps God is santifying your friend and preparing he/she for something ahead. In my case God often deals with my sins and character, forcing me to rely on him in a more personal manner than mere head knowledge. You could remind and encourage your friend with the fact that their season of dryness is not for nothing, there is a purpose for what they are experiencing. Encourage them to rest in God’s presence and not rely on their own understanding. Remind them they dry seasons do not last forever and that there is an amazing plan that God purposed for them.
Spending time with them and praying for them could also be a good way of examplifying God’s love through you :blush:

Will continue praying for you and your friend🙏


So true! Its often the good things that keep us from the best - our relationship with God.


Apologies for slow response - I’ve had some big commitments lately. Enjoying catching up with these responses, which I really appreciate.

Thanks @chris , I’d not heard of No Place Left - it looks great as a discipleship tool, thanks for the recommendation. I can see there are a few branches around the UK which is good to know. Also, your personal experience of how God shifted your focus in your walk of faith is really helpful for me to consider as I look to help this person.

This is likely an important part of this. I know of many Christians who have felt unsettled with church through the lockdown periods as services and small group meetings all went online. It seems that some have struggled to return to the old way, as Chris has also referred to questioning church practices. This may be an important thing to consider here.

Thank you, @lakshmi this is very helpful.

Thank you @kiko for what you’ve shared. I think that everyone has indicated how important the role of prayer is in this (and every) situation. I will take time to encourage this person and pray for them to know God’s closeness. I can certainly relate to what you said about how our study of our creator can mean a neglected relationship with Him. This is really helpful.