PRAY daily. WORSHIP weekly. READ your Bible regularly. SERVE at, through, and beyond your congregation.
RELATE with others in inviting and faith-growing, ways. GIVE a 10% tithe of your income.
(These “Faith Practices” are God-shaped activities that help us grow into spiritually-healthy followers of Jesus. As the Danish philosopher/theologian Soren Kierkegaard once said, “Christianity cannot simply be a doctrine to be taught, but a life to be lived.” These “Marks of Discipleship” are found all throughout Scripture. Lived out with intentionality, these particular behaviors enable us to grow much more fully in the experience of being modern-day disciples.)
The ongoing practice of prayer lies at the very heart of any person or congregation that wishes to grow in their experience of God. It is through our praying that we can become most close to God. It is also through our practice of prayer that we can learn to listen to God’s direction for our living. Prayer is the very power that enables us to do absolutely everything else we do as a people who intentionally seek to be about the work of God. Without it, all our words and actions, however well-intentioned they may be, are merely sounds and motions.
What is it about a daily practice of prayer that strengthens, stretches, and nourishes our relationship with both God and others?
What do you think is the most important thing about prayer? What do you think happens (to us, to others, to God, to the world around us) when we pray?
Daily prayer opens us up to God’s presence in our daily lives. Through our regular exercise of praying, God promises to transform us, enabling us to experience and respond to all the gifts of life, our interactions with others, as well as the daily events of the world around us, all in new and life-giving ways.
- Set aside a daily time and space for your practice of prayer. Be faithful to this task. Make it a priority. Place a small cross in that spot and/or light a candle if it helps you to keep focus in this holy habit. Even create a small home altar if you wish.
- Begin your prayer time by reading a portion of Scripture, reciting a Psalm, or even singing a hymn.
- Use a devotional book, a printed liturgy, or the intercessions found in my weekly “This Coming Sunday” email if you need help in finding words for your praying. Keep an ongoing list of names of those whom you wish to pray for.
- Be sure to include time for intentional silence in order to learn to better listen for God’s “voice” during your prayer time.
- Practice contemplative prayer. Learn more about this ancient, yet enduring method of praying in the “Contemplative Prayer” section on this website.