We regularly pray personally and corporately for God to increase the sense of his presence among his people. But what happens when it feels like God has withdrawn his presence? What introspective questions should we ask? What prayers should we pray?

Ryan Kelly, pastor of preaching at Desert Springs Church in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Council member for The Gospel Coalition, talks with Mark Mellinger about the doctrine of desertion. He describes how this doctrine helps us make sense of the psalms and our experience of spiritual dryness. Kelly reflects on a scary time in his life and directs us to Puritan writing on this topic, since so few modern writers address desertion directly.

If after listening to and learning from Kelly you want to learn more about this overlooked but deeply personal subject, check out the recently re-released book Spiritual Desertion by Gisbertus Voetius and an extensive list Kelly provided on books and articles on spiritual depression and desertion.

[audio:http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/tgc/files/2012/08/Download-the-Interview.mp3]

Download the complete interview with Ryan Kelly.

John Starke is lead pastor of All Souls Church in the Upper West Side of Manhattan. You can follow him on Twitter.

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John Starke


John Starke is lead pastor of All Souls Church in the Upper West Side of Manhattan. You can follow him on Twitter.

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