Spiritual Disciplines & Practices
What are Spiritual Disciplines?
This List of Spiritual Disciplines and Desires is to assist individuals in being intentional in their growth and disciplined approach to discipleship.
This List is adapted from work by Adele Ahlberg Calhoun Spiritual Disciplines Handbook: Practices That Transform Us IVP Books. Contributions to the page for each topic have been made by the spiritual directors in Wycliffe organization and SIL. Further contributions have been made by other mission HR teams. If you have ideas for further contributions, please email them to ______. This page is evolving as people have time to contribute.
Click on the link for further information on each topic:
To give a regular and honest account of my choices, priorities and temptations to a godly and wise companion who points me to Christ
Affirmation of faith
An affirmation of faith can be the reciting of a creed or sentences you have designed for your own use.
To know what the Bible says and how it intersects with my life
To pray a simple, intimate prayer of heartfelt desire before God
Care of the Earth
To honor the Creator by loving, nurturing and stewarding his creation
To take joyful, passionate pleasure in God and the radically glorious nature of God’s people, Word, world and purpose
To quiet the heart and rest in God alone
To revere God by receiving and honoring my body and the bodies of others with purity of thoughts and actions
To express and reflect the self-donating love of the Trinity by investing in and journeying with others
To become the healing presence of Christ to others
Confession & Self-Examination
To surrender my weaknesses and faults to the forgiving love of Christ and intentionally desire and embrace practises that lead to transformation
Looking at scripture as a prayer activity
To wake up to the presence of God in all things
To develop an open, restful receptivity to the Trinity that enables me to always be with God just as I am
Control of the Tongue
To turn the destructive way I use words into authentic, loving and healing speech
To talk naturally and unselfconsciously to God in prayer times with others
To enter into authentic, confidential and healing relationships with a committed group of fellow pilgrims
To nurture the spirit of trust that is attached to God alone
To prayerfully encounter and surrender to the Living God through attending to Scripture
To delight in and recognise the voice and will of God
To be in a relationship where I am encouraged or where I encourage another to become an apprentice of Jesus
To notice both God and my God-given desires throughout the day
To let go of a an appetite in order to seek God on matters of deep concern for others, myself and the world
To stop my work and pray throughout the day
To be sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s prompting to live with a grateful heart, cognizant of God’s work in my life and my abundant resources
To be nourishment by Christ, tasting the sweet depths of redemption
To be a safe person who offers others the grace, shelter and presence of Jesus
To become like Jesus in his willingness to choose the hidden way of love rather than the way of power
Use your imagination to picture a scene or event from scripture, reproducing it in your mind’s eye as though watching a video of the event. Let your senses come into play—sight, hearing, smells, touch, taste.
To assist the emotionally broken and wounded as they seek God for the healing that only he can give
To turn my concerns and worries into prayer: to enter God’s heart for the world and then pray from there
To be alert to my life through writing and reflecting on God’s presence and activity on, around and through me
To love others by seeking their good, protection, gain, and fair treatment
To make a quiet, listening pilgrimage to God
Lament is a tool that God’s people use to navigate pain and suffering. Lament is vital prayer for the people of God because it enables them to petition for God to help deliver from distress, suffering, and pain. Lament prayer is designed to persuade God to act on the sufferer’s behalf.
Reading, not undertaken simply with the eyes and the mind. Rather, it must involve the whole person: mind, heart, body, and spirit. It is reading for formation, not information.
To open myself to God through establishing patterns or traditions of written prayers and readings
To curb my addiction to busyness, hurry and workaholism; to learn to savor the moment
To more deeply gaze on God in his works and words
To carry the life-shaping worlds of God in me at all times and in all places
To accompany and encourage others to grow to their God-given potential
Practicing the Presence
To develop a continual openness and awareness of Christ’s presence living in me
Prayer of Recollection
To rest in God, allowing him to calm and heal my fragmented and distracted self
To share the journey of prayer with a trusted companion
To allow God to shape my prayer life through the words of Scripture
Praying the Ordinary
It is a ‘prayer in action’ where the distinction between the sacred and the secular is erased. While praying the ordinary, everything we do becomes prayer because it is directed toward God.
To align myself, while walking in particular places, with Christ and his intercession for the kingdom to come
Repetition in prayer is a helpful beginning towards spiritual fitness for similar reasons. When we use our mind, our lips, our heart to form words of prayer, we’re training our “spiritual muscles” to orient ourselves towards God.
To honor God and my human limitations through restful rhythms
To make space in my life for God alone
Rule for Life
To live a sane and holy rhythm that reflects a deep love for God and respect for how he has made me
To set apart one day a week for rest and worship of God
To follow the simple and often hidden way of Christ
To value myself as my heavenly Father values me
To reflect the helping, caring and sharing love of God in the world
To uncomplicate and untangle my life so I can focus on what really matters
To make my spiritual; journey with a community of trusted friends
Solitude & Silence
To leave people behind and enter into time alone with God
To give caring attention to my relationship with God, accompanied by the prayerful presence of someone who helps me listen well to God
To develop a friendship that encourages and challenges me to love God with all my heart, soul, strength and mind
To live as a steward of God’s resources in all areas of life: to live out of the awareness that nothing I have is my own
To have Jesus as the Master of my life in absolutely every way
To live an authentically truthful life
To live in harmony with Christ’s desire for the church to be one: to be a bridge-builder and peacemaker in the body of Christ
To be fully present to and uninterrupted in my interactions with God and others
The Welcoming Prayer is a method of consenting to God’s presence and action in our physical and emotional reactions to events and situations in daily life. The purpose of the Welcoming Prayer is to deepen our relationship with God through consenting in the ordinary activities of our day.
To reveal the life-changing love of Jesus to others
To honour and adore the Trinity as the supreme treasure of life