From “Spiritual Practices – Living the Gift,” the Spring/Summer 2014 issue of Reflections magazine. To read the entire issue, click here.
There are many different lists of the spiritual practices or spiritual disciplines, as they are often called. And different authors categorize the practices in different ways: Richard Foster speaks of inward, outward, and corporate practices. Dallas Willard classifies them as disciplines of abstinence or disciplines of engagement. Brian McLaren stresses contemplative practices, communal practices, and missional practices.
These practices appear most frequently, even if by different names, on most lists of spiritual practices. These are broad headings so, for instance, there are many different forms of prayer. Add your own favorites to the list.
Solitude – spending time alone with God
Silence – removing yourself from all noise
Fasting – abstaining from food, media, entertainment to recognize your dependence on God
Simplicity – curbing consumerism and being content with only that which is necessary for your well-being
Sacrifice – giving of our resources beyond what is reasonable for the advancement of God’s kingdom
Study – spending time reading the works of good Christian writers
Scripture – reading, examining, and meditating on God’s Word
Worship – offering praise and adoration to God in a communal setting
Prayer – spending time with God, talking and listening to Him
Confession – recognizing and confessing your sins to another person
Submission – humbling yourself before God and others
Secrecy – doing good deeds without anyone’s knowledge
Sabbath – dedicating one day a week, typically Sunday, to spend with God without the distractions of sporting events, shopping, entertainment, work etc.
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