Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Spiritual Disciplines


Calling all blogger friends for insight. I would love to hear your thoughts on ways to effectively practice some "spiritual disciplines". These are all things that should be a part of a mature christian's life and I am falling short in a few of these areas. I'm not really looking for scriptures, but practical everyday things that you do to completely engage yourself in the disciplines. I'm looking for "how to" not "why to". Here are the ones that I want to focus on....


prayer

fasting

study

giving/service

quiet time/listening

worship/praise


Example: Prayer journal (which I am starting today)


What works for you?

11 comments:

Neva said...

Monica,
I do a prayer journal. When we graduated from Sunset, we made a convenant with our class to pray for each other every Wednesday. That became such habit and so wonderful that I assigned one day for specific prayers. For example, on Monday, I pray for Ned and I, our ministry, our relationship, etc. Tuesday, for our families, their health, etc. You get the point. I add any concerns on each of those days that I feel moved to pray about---I try to start each prayer with adoration. That was difficult for me to put into words, I am not very good with words, so I started using some of Davids. I found some Psalms that were all adoration and I would begin my prayers with those---they really benefitted my prayer life. As my prayer journal fills up I go back and offer prayers of thanksgiving for the answered prayers. It is in incredibly faith building to see, I mean really see, His working in my life and through my prayers. I don't know if this helps but . .
As far as study, I began reading the NT through every month. If I read ten chapters a day, I read it once a month. (But, I don't beat myself up if I miss a day, I numbered the chapters in my bible and I jsut start on the next day. While this is not study, it has helped my study because now when I study a passage, I have a ready recollection of relevant passages.
Sorry for the sermon.
Hope some of this helps.
Peace and prayers
Neva

Kids For Christ said...

From Lisa:
With worship/praise, are you talking about the public worship assembly, or in your own life? I don't know if this applies or not, but when I'm at worship service, I try to remind myself to focus. I actually have to catch myself getting distracted by the kids and say, "Okay, try to get back on track." I also have found that it helps to remind myself to focus on the words of the song so they'll really sink in, and stare at our minister's mouth so I hear him better. On Sunday nights, we have a dear lady who takes the kids to another room and reads the Bible with them. I have the whole hour to myself!! We don't have people leave the auditorium to take communion at night, so it gives me an opportunity to focus on the communion like I couldn't earlier.

I usually keep my car radio on the Christian radio station, which helps me have good songs in my head throughout the day, and also is much safer to have the kids listen to. Recently I was driving my husband's car, and the radio is broken. It was so quiet & felt so weird at first, but I soon realized it was a great opportunity for me to talk with God and reflect on things going on. So now I occasionally turn it off, even in my own car & appreciate the silence; when the kids are with me, we talk more with each other if the radio's off.

I am looking forward to hearing more advice on the other areas, because I am not a very disciplined person myself and need to do better about my personal time with God. Good post; I think it's good for us to share practical ideas.

Kids For Christ said...

Hope you don't mind, I'm going to try & send some more traffic over here, hoping that some more people might offer some advice.

Mommysmart said...

Neva,

I love the idea of prayers having assigned days. I will use that! Great advice about study, too. You are such an inspiration.

Lisa,

I also listen to praise music in the car, but like you have never thought about the silence being perfect prayer or listening time. Great tips! And feel free to send everyone. I want to put together lots of ideas in all of the categories.

Paula Harrington said...

Do some serious studying. At one of the lowest times of my life I did an intense study of the book of Acts. I kept a notebook (among two or three versions of the Bible and a couple commentaries and also a Bible dictionary.

I like to keep index cards with Scriptures around the house and on the dash of the car.

As much as you can pray on your knees. It helps your mind as well as your prayers.

I've also started taking a college level Bible class each year on a different book of the Bible. It can be stressful but when I prioritize things I always end up taking the next class.

These are just a few. I've never kept a prayer journal but love the sound of it and will start one.

Stachia said...

Monica,

I keep a Bible in the car and whenever I am in line at the Bank, or Fast Food restuarant or waiting on the kids I can read a few chapters. Especially, Proverbs, Psalms, and my favorite the book of James.
A prayer journal is a great way to keep your thought together. When Conner first got sick I started one and wrote in it daily. I look back now and see the wonderful ways God was working in my life at that time and I didn't realize it. I don't keep one as often now but still do occasionally.
On a different note I love your site! It is one of the first things I check in the mornings and it was always makes me smile. Thanks, Stachia

Mommysmart said...

Paula,

Taking a college bible class is a great idea. And I love keeping note cards, but have not done so good with that lately. I will try both.

Stachia,

That is the best part of a prayer journal...to see HOW God worked. I always say that I am going to put a bible in the car, but never do it. What a great suggestion. I'm glad that you are reading in the mornings, that's when I blog read, too. I think that sometime you should share Connor's story. Are you blogging?

Kristi Brooke said...

This is a great post to get anyone thinking.

Our family and congregation fasts the first Sunday of every month. It is a wonderful thing to look forward to and think the month of what I want to focus on.

prayer, it makes such a difference to kneel as a family every night when we pray. with three little kids sometime it is just easier to just stay where you are but when we gather so close it is great.
we have a designated spot to pray. it is a large ottoman, we call it the prayer square and when we get ready to pray we all pound on it like a drum to gather the little ones. at the end of the prayer our girls (we have all girls) they put there hands in like at the end of the game and say "Sister Power" followed by a group hug.
it gives some tradition along with praying together as a family. i think spiritual activies can be fun and just as much a tradition as holidays and such.
i could probably go on and on but will end at that.
thanks for reminding me the importance of always trying to be better.

Mommysmart said...

Kristi,

Hey! Thanks for sharing. I love the "prayer square". I agree that making traditions with the kids builds the foundation for their prayer lives. Besides I LOVE TO HEAR MY KIDS PRAY! I feel like I am looking straight into their little souls.

Have a great day!

Trey Morgan said...

Alright ... we need a little testostrone in here. I'll add some "man" comments.

Actually, you girls have some GREAT ideas. I'm going to look in to a couple of them.

I keep a journal occasionally, but I love reading a chapter of Proverbs every day. What ever day of the month it is, is the chapter I read. Been doing it for years. I also try and read a chapter from the Gospels ever day.

I enjoy an accountability partner who keeps me on track. He asks me regularly "how are you doing?"

The other thing I do is I listen to sermons from other preachers on my mp3 player and when I'm alone in the car. It feeds me. Often I don't get fed spiritually because I'm the one doing all the feeding on Sundays.

As for Stachia, I've seen the inside or her car... yes her Bible is always in there.

Sorry I haven't been around much the last couple of days ... BUSY!

The Preacher's Household: said...

I walk for 30 minutes a day and that is my special alone time with God.
I love this post and the comments have really inspired me to do a few specific things. We have a potluck on the first sunday. I really like the idea of fasting on it instead.
Because I teach on Sun & Wed, I have really enjoyed blogs that are preacher's sermons because like Trey said, they help to fill me up.
I have been reading through the book of Mark with Josh (7). It is his first time to read it by himself so I get a lot out of discussing it with him.
I listen to a lot of Christian music at home during the day instead of watching tv.
Kathy