Daily and Weekly Practices
Updated: Sep 15, 2020
What are Spiritual Practices?
Practices are also called habits, routines, liturgies or more formally, rules of life. We all have them, and the majority of them are subconscious.
Spiritual practices are not ways to receive grace or righteousness from god, but are ways we relationally respond to his grace, by practicing our love and trust in him, and by practicing our love and respect for our neighbor. Jesus talks about practices in two ways: resisting and embracing. We embrace things like church worship, communal meals or daily prayers, and we resist things like fasting or solitude.
As we venture on this teaching series called "The Unhurried Life" we will examine the things we do, and for a month pursue a few new habits of resistance and embrace. It's been famously said, "to do the same things and expect different results is called insanity." It is my conviction that most of us desire a more intimate relationship with the God we confess to love, yet our practices remain unchanged. We believe the enlightenment philosophy that we are just brains on a stick who only change by thinking new and better things.
I believe scripture teaches we are hearts on a stick - doing what we love. But we love the wrong things.
So how do we change what we love? As CS Lewis says, "if we do not love our neighbor it does us no good to sit around thinking about why we do not love our neighbor and thinking about why we should love our neighbor. the better approach would be to get up and start acting in ways of love for our neighbor, and what we'll discover is that our love for our neighbor will grow."
If we just do what we feel like doing then we are not obeying christ, but obeying our emotions. Practices are ways we do things even when we don't feel like it, as a way of reshaping our heart's affections and desires.
Are you tired of the same spiritual apathy and lukewarmness? Practices are not a magic bullet but they are a way the spirit shapes and forms us. Come join us by observing daily and weekly practices. We will have the same practice every day for a week and one weekly practice for the entire month.
Do the daily devotional in the morning before you look at your phone. This requires you waking up 15 minutes earlier than normal and getting out of bed.
This coming Sunday take a Sabbath Day (reference Caleb's teaching). This will require a lot of prep work. This will require getting all of your homework done by Saturday night and finding a few new and healthy things to do during your day.
One of two options: 1) Take one hour every day where you turn your phone off. 2) Put your phone to sleep in a separate room. It goes to bed before you and wakes up after you.
Go 24 hours without your phone on. After doing that, process and journal how you felt in the midst of being apart from it and how you feel after the time apart.
Practicing Silence. Find 5-10 minutes per day to sit in silence, without distraction. This is not a time of prayer (you should totally follow this 5-10 minutes with prayer!), but this is a time to silence. Being still before the Lord. There is an app you can download called HeadSpace that helps with this. What you'll notice is your mind will get super sidetracked. One thing I do to help with this is I find a noise in nature to focus on, or a repeat a word back and forth to help me mind find stillness.
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One day this week block out 1 hour of solitude. Put it on your calendar. This is not an hour of scrolling. I would turn off my phone if I were you. This is an hour of you and your thoughts. Stare out a window or sit in nature and do nothing. Be with no one but yourself. See what that's like. Pray, and be alone with God.