Fell off the Quiet Time Wagon? How to Reconnect with God After a Long Break

It can be hard to know how to reconnect with God after a long break but it is possible.

Recently I was asked two questions. The first one was how to reconnect with God when you’ve been so far away from him for years.  The second question was how to start with bible study and prayer after a long break. These are two great questions; the answer is the same.

You know that life happens. You’re busy or distracted and don’t make the time to spend with God even though you want to and know you should.  Then there may be seasons in your life when you want nothing to do with God. You turn our backs on him. You decide to go your way and do your own thing.

Hopefully, you reach a point where you realize that you need to get back on the right path. You decide to come back to God and want to reconnect with him. These can be really difficult places to get back into that habit and discipline of spending time with God in his word and prayer or getting back into attending church.

You feel stuck and there can sometimes be a lot of shame that comes along with that. You don’t want to feel ashamed or guilty about these things. You want to learn how to get back on that horse and get back at it. I want you to know you’re not alone. This is a common issue and struggle that so many of us face at some point in our lives and our walk with God. 

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How to Reconnect with God Tip #1: Admit the Truth

The first thing to do is, to be honest about where you are in your relationship with God. If you have not been spending time in His word for any amount of time take a beat and acknowledge that. Be open and honest and talk to God.

“Lord, I have ignored you and chosen to do other things than spend time with you. I haven’t been in your word, prayed, or done any of the things that I know are going to help me feel close to you.” Be honest with him about it even though he already knows.

It will help you get into the right head space and heart space to begin to work on growing closer to God after you’ve been away for a long time. Take that first step and be honest and acknowledge the truth about your past so that you can move forward. 

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How to Reconnect with God Tip #2: Start with a Baby Step

The next thing is to try to find something small that you can do. I’ve talked before about micro wins and how taking those baby steps is key to developing disciplines and growing in those habits of growing closer to God. This is never more true than when you’ve been out of the game for a little while.

Maybe you’re going to prioritize five minutes to spend with God every day. That’s great because if you’ve not spent any time, five minutes is an improvement. Five minutes is better than zero minutes.

If you’re a person who loves to dig deep and dive into scripture and mine out all that goodness, you may not be able to jump right back into that level of depth and that focus and that time, especially if you’ve been away from it for a while. Give yourself permission to start small.

Just read scripture for 10 minutes every day for a while, and then when that becomes easy and manageable, begin to add other things onto it and eventually, you can work your way back to where you were before you took that break. 

How to Reconnect with God Tip #3: Don’t Get Stuck in the Past

The thing to remember here is the real point of spending time with God. What is the point of being in the word, the point of prayer, of meditating, of memorization? The point is to get to know God, to learn who he is. By doing that, you understand who you are and then you’re able to start to learn and practice how to walk out life as a daughter of the king.

If you can keep that in the forefront of your mind, it will help you not get tripped up on the coulda, woulda, shoulda, and not shame yourself for what you didn’t do. It’s in the past. There’s nothing that you can do about it because you can’t change the past.

There’s no time anything that you can hop in to go back and make that right. All you can do is look forward and keep moving forward. And so we’ve got to learn to stop focusing on that past and that thing that wants to nag us and drag us back into this pit of shame because that is really what’s going to keep us from moving forward.

If it’s been six months or six years, today is day one. Just pick up your Bible and start reading. 

How to Reconnect with God Tip #4: Cut Yourself Some Slack

Take some time and evaluate, if you truly have not spent any time with God. If you have been on a break, what kind of break was it? Sometimes breaks are okay because you need to rest. Last year, I had all these plans and goals. I had a list of books of the bible I wanted to study, books to read, and other disciplines I wanted to try.

But at the end of the year, I felt like hadn’t accomplished anything. I felt guilty in my heart because I love God and I wanted to be close to him. One day on a walk, God spoke to my heart about this.  He reminded me of the things I was doing like attending church on Sundays and Wednesdays, serving regularly, reading devotions and little short passages with my kids every single day.

I had been heavily into worshiping God listening to praise music and worship music throughout my days. I realized that I had not completely abandoned God or walked away from him. I had spent time with him it just didn’t look like what I had made up in my mind it should look like. 

I want to encourage you to consider if you have not been spending time with God. Or is it just that it’s looked a little bit different than what you’re used to or what you want it to be? Because different is not always bad or wrong. Sometimes different is just different, especially when you’re in a season of life that is more draining, more taxing, and where you have less time available to spend time with God.

That’s okay. It happens. God knows what you’re dealing with and what’s on your plate. Sometimes your time with him will look a little different for a season. If you don’t stop to realize that, you’ll be getting down on yourself for no reason. 

Final Thoughts on How to Reconnect with God

For the person who wants to reconnect with God because you’ve turned your back on him, acknowledge where you are. Be honest with yourself and with God about where you are and what you did. Repent, receive his forgiveness, and move forward. Pick something small that you’re going to do and add to that when those small things become manageable. 

If it’s been a while since you’ve been consistent, the same advice applies.  Be honest about where you are, what you want, and what you’ve done. If you need to repent, repent, receive forgiveness, and move on. Find something small that you can do.

Remember to take some time to evaluate if you’ve actually not been spending time with God at all, or if it’s just looked different. If it has looked different, then consider what things you want to take with you moving forward. 

If you’re in a place where you feel you’ve dropped the ball and don’t know how to get back on track, follow these steps and take a step forward. The Bible says that when you draw near to God, he draws near to you.

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