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Jul 28, 2020

When God Feels Far Away in Prayer

Dr. Edward Sri

Do you ever have moments or seasons in life when you don’t feel close to God? Although dryness in prayer can be frustrating and defeating, it is a natural part of our relationship with God. Today, Dr. Sri offers us advice to navigate those times when God feels far away, and encourages us to remain faithful no matter how we may feel in prayer.

Snippet from the Show

“One act of trust at such moments gives greater glory to God than whole hours passed in prayer filled with consolations.”- St. Faustina


Our prayer life can sometimes go through seasons of dryness and emptiness. During these times, God may feel far away or even absent. Showing up to pray when you don’t feel God’s presence can be very challenging and frustrating. However,it is important to remember that these moments of restlessness in prayer are a natural aspect of our relationship with God.  Moreover, we cannot reduce the quality or consistency of our prayer to pure feelings because love is so much more than feelings. If we’re only praying and seeking God when we feel like it, then our love for him is not complete. True love resides in our will and not in our feelings. Therefore, what matters most in our walk with God is our faithfulness to him and our consistency in prayer even when we feel like we’re not getting much out of it.  While consolations in prayer are blessings from God, they do not determine the worth or value of our prayer. When we pray and don’t receive consolations from God, we show him that we are still choosing him because we love him for his own sake. God rejoices and delights in this heroic act of the will and finds our effort and loyalty to him pleasing. We should not use our feelings as a thermometer to measure our spiritual progress because prayer is still fruitful and filled with grace even when we lack consolations. 

“It is not important to experience moments of prayer that are beautiful and satisfying, rich in profound thoughts or sentiments, as it is to be faithful and preserving in prayer. In other words, we must not focus so much on the “quality” but on our fidelity to prayer. Quality will be the fruit of fidelity. Times of arid, impoverished, distracted, or relatively brief prayer, if practiced faithfully every day, are more meritorious and bear more fruit than long, ardent prayers offered inconsistently when we feel the circumstances conducive.”- Fr. Jaqcues Phillipe

“One act of trust at such moments gives greater glory to God than whole hours passed in prayer filled with consolations.”- St. Faustina

What To Do When Prayer Is Dry

  1. Persevere in the midst of the darkness or dryness of prayer. Don’t give up, keep praying. Dryness can last days, weeks, months or years. Many of the saints, such as St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta, experienced dryness.
  2. Don’t compare yourself to others, each soul is unique.
  3. Be honest with God about your prayer and offer him the emptiness.  Your fidelity to God glorifies him and is a beautiful gift to him.
  4. Trust God.


Meet Your Host: Dr. Edward Sri

Dr. Sri is a theologian and the author of several best-selling books. He holds a doctorate from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome. A founding leader of the Fellowship of Catholic University Students (FOCUS), Dr. Sri currently serves as its vice president of formation. He appears regularly on EWTN and resides in Colorado with his wife, Elizabeth, and their eight children.

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