Every journey begins with a step. We hope these spiritual disciplines can help you take a step toward connection with Jesus and a more personal faith.
The best place to begin is Scripture (ie. the Bible).
We learn of God, experience His promises, and discover His goodness through His Word. Though the Bible does not provide answers to every burning question (like where I should eat lunch?), it does connect us with Jesus and his loving work for us.
tools to read scripture:
If you're not the "reading plan" type, it can be helpful to focus on specific verses for an extended period of time.
If that is the case, use SOAP:
Scripture: Read, listen to, or write down the specific section of Scripture a few times.
Observe: What sticks out as you read or listen? What do you experience as you read these verses? Are there any names or places you're not familiar with? Words or phrases that are repeated? Look them up.
Application: What is the goal of this Scripture? What is God doing or saying? Is there anything you should think, feel, or do differently as a result?
Prayer: Take a moment to pray about what you just studied. If you're not sure what to pray, start by asking God to help you take to heart what you read and experienced.
Have a notepad with you? Try out this method:
Prayer is another helpful spiritual discipline.
There is no "right" way to pray. Scripture portrays prayer simply as a two-way conversation with God.
tips for prayer:
- Try to eliminate distractions and turn off notifications. Find a quiet space to connect with God.
- Consider writing down a list to help focus your prayers.
- Take a walk. What do you observe? Who or what do you see? Pray for those things.
- Use real words. Seriously, don't try to pray like someone else. Just be you.
A.C.T.S. can be a helpful acronym to guide your prayer:
Adoration: Praise God for who He is or what He's done for you.
Confession: Is there anything you are sorry for or regret? Share it with God.
Thanksgiving: Thank God specifically for the good things in your life. Struggling to discover the good? Thank Him for relating to your hurts.
Supplication: Supplication means to ask God for the things you need.
A third great spiritual discipline is that of generosity.
God has created us to be givers of our time, talent, and finances. When we give, we become like God for He too is generous. Giving helps us to trust in His faithful provision and love even when we don't always feel it ourselves.
tips for giving:
Here are some ways you can give to those around you today:
- Write a thank you note or a word of encouragement to someone.
- Find a local organization where you can volunteer your time or skills.
- Consider donating or giving something away to support a cause or organization you believe in. Maybe buy a coffee for the person behind you in line. Be creative!
- If you're already in the habit of giving, create a new challenge yourself. Increase the percentage of your income to give away, or set a goal of a certain number of hours served somewhere.
- Try to bless you neighbor. Leave a note offering help, take their trashcan back from the curb, or bake some cookies.
Change your atmosphere by listening to hope-centric playlists throughout the day.
Studying Scripture, praying, and generous living are by no means an exhaustive list of ways to connect with God. Want to learn about other spiritual disciplines? Fee free to contact us.