Spiritual disciplines are something that most of us have no clue what to do with… if we even know what they are. The vast majority know two things: we are to read our Bible and pray. But isn’t there more to it than just reading a couple verses and talking to God? For a long time I never realized there was more to it than that, and even now I am probably still missing quite a few good ones (if you have some ideas feel free to comment!). So, since I love lists, I am going to give you my top 10 spiritual disciplines that I invest time into every week (or day, depending on the discipline).
1. Systematic Reading of the Bible. What the heck is that? Well put simply, its reading the Bible book by book and chapter by chapter, not skipping around and randomly reading different Scripture each day. If we are to truly grasp the text, we must read it in an organized fashion. God did not just compile a whole bunch of quotes for us to read at random. There is a rhyme and reason to it all. Read each book from start to finish as it was meant to be read. Now, my reading from book to book may change. Specifically at this very moment, I am reading in a style that I call “6×6” (that is pronounced “six-by-six” if you were wondering). This style entails that I read six chapters of a book on Monday. Then on the next six days of the week, I go back and read one chapter each day from the six chapters I read on Monday. For example, I read the first 6 chapters of Matthew on Monday, then on Tuesday I read Matthew 1, then on Wednesday Matthew 2, etc. Then after that week is complete I move on to the next six chapters of the book. Two weeks from now, I will be reading the New Testament in 30 days (newthru30). Over the summer my plan is to read the Bible in 90 days (B90x). Starting in September I plan to read the Old Testament once and the New Testament twice in one year (McCheyne). Now, you don’t have to do these exact things, but they are a few clear examples of reading the Bible with purpose.
2. Deliberate Organized Prayer. So once again this might be confusing (sorry… I probably should stop using these big words that even I don’t understand…). Basically, we need to pray in an organized way. Too often we just pray randomly with no structure. When we begin to pray so randomly, we start praying for the same things over and over and never pray anything meaningful. We just pray for whatever comes to our mind at that specific time. We need to organize our prayers so that our prayer is much more focused and specific; concentrating our prayer power. But don’t ever kick spontaneous prayer to the curb, spontaneous is good, just don’t let it be the only thing.