- The practice of training people to obey rules using punishment to correct disobedience.
- Those practices found in Scripture that promote spiritual growth, as in a spiritual discipline, and draw us into a closer relationship with our Triune God.
During my senior year at Augsburg College, I took a course called, “Christian Spiritual Practices.” It started at 8:00 am (ugh…) with a bunch of tired students trying to not fall asleep as our professor led us through different spiritual disciplines. These disciplines included (but were not limited to): meditation, prayer, study of scripture, worship, and stretching. I learned a lot about these various spiritual disciplines: where they came from, how to do them, and which ones worked for me. But the most important thing I learned was how, through them, I could grow closer to God during a busy, homework-filled, test-cramming time in my life. And although I’m done with homework and tests, the business and chaos continues. And still, I count on these spiritual disciplines to keep me in conversation with God.
It’s not always easy to find time to just be with God because that means slowing down, taking a break, letting things sit undone for awhile. Every day I get up with a long to-do list that I’m ready to start whittling down and I forget to take a moment just to be in the presence of my Creator. Do you find that’s true in your life, too? So what can we do? It’s not like we can seclude ourselves for an hour while kids cry for breakfast, pets need to be walked and fed, groceries need to bought, and work needs to be done. But can we take 60 seconds? It may not seem like a lot, but it’s something… it’s a starting point. Over the next couple weeks, take a minute and be intentional about really being in relationship with God. But how? I thought you’d never ask! Here’s a short list of some spiritual disciplines/practices and how to do them in just 60 seconds:
|Prayer – Take a moment and talk to God. It can be as simple as, “God, be with me today.” or “Please help _________ with work/school.”||Study – Open a Bible and read for 60-seconds. Or go to www.biblegateway.com, read the verse of the day, and pray about it.|
|Solitude – Spend time alone (without electronics) and just breathe in the Spirit.||Service – Random acts of kindness. See someone carrying something heavy? Offer to help!|
|Corporate Disciplines||Worship – I don’t say this because I want the pews full… worship can happen anytime, anywhere. Give praise to God, and if you can, do it with me!||Celebration – Practice being grateful and thankful, to God and to others. Express encouragement and thankfulness to others and to God.|