7 Ways to Restore Your Faith [+ FAQs]

5 min read
Woman with hands folded in prayer

What does it mean to have faith? For some of us, faith needs no definition or explanation — we know something to be true like we breathe air or see the sun rise in the morning. For others, faith inspires more questions than answers — they need tangible proof of something before they can believe it’s there.

If you feel as though you’ve grown away from your faith, know that this is a normal part of anyone’s faith journey. You are not alone — and there is a way back.

Why Do We Lose Faith?

It is normal to question your faith in anything at times; humans are naturally curious, and we like to see evidence of things before believing them to be true. We naturally have a lot of questions, even when it comes to things we’ve believed our whole lives. 

Since religion asks for our faith, humans frequently question its validity, including its history, authority figures, and even its prophets and divine entities. Religion can fill one’s life with joy, as well as offer a lifeline in times of tragedy or stress. However, a person can lose trust in a higher power for many reasons. If there is a God, why do bad things happen? It’s a fair question — and those who ask it are not alone. 

Losing faith in God can be destabilizing, and it may feel easier to give up religion altogether rather than wrestle with difficult questions or doubt. Many people who lose faith might feel completely alone with their doubts, especially if they are members of a closed spiritual community. Questioning and investigating one’s own faith may seem like a thoroughly modern pursuit, as fewer people inherit religion from their parents today. However, remember that humans (even saintly ones) have been pushing back against God for millenia. 

Having uncomfortable feelings about faith can indicate that you are taking your relationship with religion seriously and that you just need to find the right resources to help answer your burning questions. That said, finding faith in God again is not easy — if it were, there wouldn’t be articles like this.

7 Ways to Reconnect with Your Faith

There are countless stories of faith lost and found, which means that there are plenty of helpful pointers throughout history and Scripture. Below are seven paths that can lead you back to your faith, with some invaluable resources to explore along the way.

1. Know more about your faith

While it can feel lonely to harbor doubts about religion, chances are you are not the first person to ask these questions. Consult someone you trust in your community. Ask them if they have ever felt similarly and how they searched for answers. They may point you to books that address your questions, or recommend relevant classes, blogs, symposiums, or podcasts.

Reading and learning more about your religion (or faith in general) can offer shape and framework to the ineffable. If faith is a belief in something that can’t be proven, that doesn’t mean there isn’t endless literature, art, thesis papers, films, lecture series, and entire degree programs that explore every aspect of it. While knowledge doesn’t necessarily offer clean answers or “quick fixes,” knowing more about the faith you’re trying to reclaim can help fill in some of the blanks.

Further Reading: Explore the Franciscan Spirit Blog, from Franciscan Media, featuring articles by FST students and faculty. >>

2. Check in with the Bible

If you are searching for proof that you are not alone in your doubt, look no further than the Bible itself. Nearly every book in both the Hebrew Bible and New Christian Testament contains at least one story of someone who lost their faith and endured any number of challenges to find it again. For a small sampling, see the parable of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32), the story of Gideon and the Midianites (Judges 6:11-24), and Moses himself, just to name a few.

If podcasts are more your speed (or if you don’t have time to sift through the Bible), there are dozens of high-quality, faith-forward productions out there that range from timely to chatty and light, from nonsectarian to progressive.

3. Reflect on past success

If you find your faith faltering after a series of setbacks, it can feel almost impossible to “look on the bright side.” When you are in the depths of frustration and despair, finding bright spots in your life story requires putting in work. Exercises like counting your blessings or writing down positive affirmations can feel forced and trite, especially when you’re not in the mood, but you’d be surprised at the difference a little active gratitude can make.

As you reflect on your wins, reflect on your losses, too — especially how you overcame them. Realizing you are capable of beating even the smallest odds can give you the strength and confidence to keep pursuing lost faith.

4. Accept past challenges

Along with acknowledging past successes, one must make peace with past challenges to move forward in a healthy manner. There is no starting over — there is only moving on with grace, acceptance, and resolve to have faith in better days.

Everyone struggles; that is a fact of life. Even those we hold up as spiritual role models struggle with very human hardships and doubt. It is how you handle your challenges, and the lessons you take from them, that makes the difference between someone who gives in to despair and self-pity and someone who believes things can change for the better. If you feel as though holding onto past challenges is preventing you from moving forward, accepting those challenges for what they were (and how they helped you grow) can help a great deal in nurturing your faith.

5. Lean on your spiritual community

If you find yourself losing faith within a strong spiritual community, find someone you trust to confide in. It’s likely that they will have experienced something similar and may offer advice or let you in on what helped them wrestle with difficult questions.

If you haven’t been a part of a spiritual community for a long time, it may be time to attend a church service. Do a little research into the theological views of your local parishes to find one that aligns with your values. Weekly services provide a welcoming, nonjudgmental environment in which to sit with your feelings, meet new people, and perhaps hear a new approach to the faith you lost touch with.

Don’t be afraid to ask the pastor for guidance or a meeting outside of the service. Church leaders are often the most valuable resources for addressing a loss of faith; often, those with the strongest commitment are the ones who have struggled the most with their beliefs.

Spiritual communities take many forms outside of church — you can expand your search to reading groups, activity groups, community ministries, and educational institutions. Graduate programs in theological studies or lay ministry offer the ideal format in which to actively examine your questions, while supported by like-minded students and educators.

6. Leave room for growth

Having faith does not always equate to blind belief or unquestioning devotion. If influential figures like St. Francis, St. Clare, John the Baptist, and Mother Teresa of Calcutta can question their faith, anyone can — and come out the other side with altogether new perspectives.

Leaving room for questioning your beliefs is healthy and normal, since it allows your faith to grow and change along with you. Human beings are not meant to be static, and neither is faith.

7. Pray

If you are feeling lost and truly don’t know how to find your way back to your faith, start praying. Prayer does not require memorizing specific phrases, nor does it require you to be a member of a particular religious group. Prayer is simply a one-on-one conversation with a higher power and can follow whatever format feels comfortable for you.

Start praying about something you believe in without question — describe your love for a family member, state your belief in a better future, express gratitude for your blessings. The more practice you have with these one-on-one conversations, the more you’ll open your heart to faith.

Why Faith is a Lifelong Journey

The first step in restoring your faith is to acknowledge that faith is a lifelong process — there is no end destination. If you are naturally curious, you will never stop having questions about your religion and spirituality; learning to live and grow with your questions is part of a normal spiritual journey. 

If you find that restoring your faith feels overwhelming, take it one step at a time. Read, listen, and talk with like-minded people. Be patient with yourself — taking it slowly, or even taking a break, does not mean that you are giving up. Have faith in yourself, and you will find your way back.

FAQs About Finding Faith Again

Do I need to go to church to find my faith again?

If you find yourself missing a spiritual community, attending a church service is an excellent way to connect with others in a supportive, non-judgemental environment. Regular services can provide the structure you need to focus on restoring your faith, but spiritual communities appear in many forms. Consider finding a book group, class, community ministry, or even a faith-based nonprofit that offers volunteer opportunities. Stay open to new possibilities, and you’ll find a way to reconnect with your faith that feels right.

Which Bible passages talk about losing one’s faith?

There are stories of faith lost and found in almost every book of the Hebrew Bible and the New Christian Testament. For a small sampling, see the parable of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32), the story of Gideon and the Midianites (Judges 6:11-24), and the story of Moses (Exodus 3:3-22).

Who can I talk to about restoring my faith?

If you are part of a spiritual community and find yourself losing your faith, talk to someone you trust who will withhold their judgment. Chances are, they have felt similarly and may be able to offer advice and solutions that worked for them. If you haven’t been a part of a spiritual community for a long time, find a church or community that resonates and speak to a spiritual leader. Often, those who express the strongest commitment to their faith are the same ones who have wrestled with doubt.

How do I start praying?

For those who may be out of practice, prayer can be as simple as a one-on-one conversation with a higher power. Prayer does not necessarily require memorizing specific phrases, nor does it require you to be a member of a particular religious group.

Start by praying about something you believe in without question, such as your love for a family member or the gratitude you feel for your blessings. The more practice you have, the more comfortable you will become with prayer.

Seven Applications of Faith in the Workplace

Read how you can put your faith to work in any profession in this eBook

Cover image for the eBook called Seven Applications of Faith in the Workplace, with a Master of Theological Studies Degree.