Do you struggle with feeling timid in your faith? Spiritual disciplines can help you have more powerful faith. I have realized this by practicing spiritual disciplines myself for the past 16 years.
Spiritual discipline makes us more like Jesus. It’s the day in, day out motions that form our Christian walks. By committing to these habits, you will feel closer to God. You will also be more effective in sharing your faith and spiritual gifts with others. Consider the importance of each of these spiritual disciplines.
For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. 2 Timothy 1:7 NIV
Read God’s Word Every Day
Every morning for the past 16 years, I’ve met with God using my One Year Bible. Meeting with Him every day has shaped my Christian walk like nothing else. It’s essential. If morning doesn’t work for you, pick another regular time to dig into His Word. You will never regret the time you spend alone with God and His Word. It will help you recognize God’s voice and the unique paths He has for you to follow.
Meditate on Bible Verses
Choose a verse from your daily reading and meditate on it during the day. I pull one verse from my daily One Year Bible reading and mull over it for hours. I approach the verse with three basic questions:
- What does this verse tell me about God?
- What does this verse tell me about the life God wants me to live?
- How does this verse inspire me to share my faith with others?
Christian meditation takes only a few minutes per day, but it has the power to hide God’s Word deep in your heart.
Make prayer a regular rhythm throughout your day. Devote every matter, even the small ones, to God. Use your fear and worry triggers as calls to prayer. Pray for others, and don’t forget to pray for yourself. You can designate certain times of day to thank God, praise him, and make requests in prayer. I enjoy taking prayer walks with my dog every morning and afternoon. You can pray wherever and whenever it’s convenient for you.
Fasting is an excellent way to clearly hear God’s voice. You can do a total fast from food and drink for several hours while you pray every time you feel hungry or thirsty. A partial fast is also effective. Once, I fasted from solid foods but kept drinking liquids, and I received a surprising answer to prayer. Think about enacting a social media fast, a television fast, or video game fast in order to devote more time to prayer.
Observe the Sabbath
God created a weekly day of rest for our own benefit. In our incredibly fast-paced society, rest is becoming all the more crucial for mental, emotional and spiritual health. Take one day per week to unplug from your busy schedule. You may be surprised at how much more productive you are throughout the week when you set one day aside to take naps, enjoy restful activities and spend time with family and friends. In my family, I established this rhythm when our children were young, and now we all look forward to our laid-back Sundays together.
Worship in Community
To have a robust Christian faith, it’s essential to worship in person with other Christians on a regular basis, as your health and situation allows. Corporate worship allows you to praise and thank God as part of the worldwide community of believers. It also enables you to benefit from the spiritual gifts of others and share yours with the congregation. Watching church on television or listening to podcasts is good, but it’s no substitute for live, community worship sessions on the regular. My week feels complete when I worship in community.
By serving others, you are the hands and feet of Jesus to them. Meeting the practical needs of others is an important part of living out your faith. Start in your own home, then extend to your neighborhood, school, workplace, church and community. Ask God to open your eyes for ways to serve, and he will be sure to show you. Your acts of service may be simple, such as setting up chairs for a meeting or sweeping floors. They don’t have to be extravagant to count in God’s eyes.
Which of these spiritual disciplines will you practice this week?