For a season in my Christian life, I was known as the go-to person on prayer. If you had a prayer request, you could rest assured that I’d add you to my list and pray for you every morning in my quiet time. For years, a day had not gone by without me spending intentional time in prayer. If you asked me what I’d do if I was tired or discouraged, I’d have told you—in all honesty—that I found nothing more refreshing or encouraging than getting on my knees and praying.

If you were curious about different kinds of prayer, I’d have told you about how I learned to pray through the ACTS acronym (adoration, confession, thanksgiving, supplication) and then discovered that one can pray through journaling and singing. I’d have shared what I learned through Richard Foster and Dallas Willard, through practicing prayer as silence and stillness, through integrating prayer into all of life a la Brother Lawrence, through using the rich and meaningful prayers of Paul (which were captured in a tiny booklet by Elisabeth Elliot), and eventually through cherishing the eloquent words of the Book of Common Prayer.

I relished reading about prayer, talking about prayer, trying different kinds of prayer, and encouraging others in their lives of prayer. And most of all, I loved the sweet intimacy of prayer itself. I read and studied the Bible every day too, but prayer was the center of my relationship with God.

And then one day, without warning, reason, or explanation, that sense of sweet intimacy was gone. The life of prayer that I’d spent years cultivating appeared to vanish. My very relationship with God seemed threatened.

A Dry Season?

I was doing all the same practices and disciplines, but they didn’t ...

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