My friend asked me to write this article a month ago, and I have intentionally delayed in doing so. Why?
Because I'm also spiritually stuck, and I didn't want to admit it to myself. But I need a better relationship with God (and my friend deserves some solid advice), so here are my ideas on how to fix it.
The first thing I want to say is it is really hard to be spiritually stuck, but it seems even harder to get out of it.
When I say "Spiritually Stuck", I'm talking about the times when it's just really hard to pray, believe, and grow in faith and relationship with our Lord because of X, Y, Z and all those other things you're thinking of this very second. The good news is, you can get out of this funk! Lots of people experience this, so let's get you (and me) back on track.
My first piece of advice is to figure out why you're spiritually stuck.
Figure out how the heck you got to this point. This will help you avoid those same mistakes in the future and identify where you need healing and help from God.
Some reasons why I'm feeling spiritually stuck is because I don't want to talk to God about feelings I'm ashamed of, I find other activities than praying more fun, and (here's the sad truth), I know that prayer will show me I need to change my habits. Although I don't want to be in this relationship rut with God, I also don't want to change. It's funny how we choose to be miserable instead of just giving in to His infinite love again. (I'm not proud of this last reason, but I'm sharing it because I'm sure you've felt this at some point, too. It's okay, you're not alone.)
My second piece of advice is just to talk to God about it.
That's right, talk to Him. Spend at least 10 minutes just opening up to God about you and everything going on in your life right now. Make it a monologue, write a poem, do it through silent meditation, pray a chaplet, draw a picture of angry cartoon faces colored in red, I DO NOT CARE as long as you are honest and communicating with God.
I suggest 10 minutes to start it off but go as long as you need.
My third piece of advice is to ask God to spend some time in silence with you.
Before God created the heavens and the earth, when it was just the God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, their first language was the language of silence. Our world is super noisy, which is problematic because God's prompting voice is usually soft, quiet, and still. You know, God only spoke out loud three times to identify Jesus was His son during Jesus' 33 years on earth? Did you know that Moses didn't identify God's voice in the earthquake or the fire, but in the still small voice that came after those powerful forces of nature?
Ask God to spend at least 5 minutes of silence with you. Time yourself if you need to.
My fourth piece of advice is to ask God to give you more faith.
Ask God to give you faith to believe these words in James 4:8
Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you.
Ask God to give you faith to love Him above all things, because it is written in Exodus 20:3
You shall have no other gods before me.
And ask God to give you faith to love yourself in the way St. Francis de Sales suggests
Have patience with all things, but first of all with yourself.
Jesus was tempted in every way that we were, so he understands the plight of being human. It's hard. But he continuously asks you to draw near to God, the loving and merciful Father.
Remember the Prodigal Son story? Shepherd who searches for the one lost sheep? The messages about forgiveness and repentance? They were all about God's LIMITLESS LOVE for us sinners.
But God proves His love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
- Romans 5:8
(P.S. not only did Christ die, but he was betrayed by friends, questioned for hours, tortured for hours, was verbally abused by his enemies and died painfully from asphyxiation on that cross).
When you have done these things, REPEAT it each day until you feel strong enough in your relationship with God to try something more advanced.
In addition to the things above, you can also do the following:
Read the Bible, ask your friends to pray for you!, pray a rosary, read a good Christian book (I like Bob Goff or Matthew Kelly, personally), go to mass, listen to a song about love and try to link the words to God's love for humanity, watch a documentary about a saint, fast from something you love and glorify God through that hardship, forgive someone who hurt you, start a devotional, talk to someone who is struggling, go to a dinner date with God, learn about consolation and desolation, etc.