A spiritual rule will enable you to approach your spiritual growth systematically. Because the rule is outlined and specific you will be able to measure and chart my growth. You will also be able to pinpoint areas that need improvement as well as spiritual areas where you excel. The spiritual disciplines I have studied and will discuss are as follows: Lectio Divina, The Jesus Prayer, Fasting, Prayer Walking, Centering Prayer, Spiritual Friendship, Examine and Journaling. Below is a brief explanation of the highlighted spiritual discipline.
Spiritual Friendship can be defined as “cultivating a covenant friendship where we can naturally share ideas or thoughts about our life with God.”[i] This type of friendship will allow those involved to experience each others spiritual journey. It will also give encouragement to those involved through the usage of prayer. We can turn to scripture for the foundations of a spiritual friendship. The Bible states in Proverbs 17: 17 A friend loves at all times, and kinsfolk are born to share adversity.[ii] James 5:16 states, “Therefore confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective.”[iii] Jesus also gave us the ultimate example to live by in John 15: 12 – 13 where he said “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”[iv]
- Choosing someone of the same gender is suggested (as to prevent the friendship from becoming inappropriate).
- Choose someone whom you feel comfortable with and trusting enough to share your thoughts, ideas, joys, and challenges regarding your spiritual life.
- Allow prayer, openness and reciprocity to be a part of your friendship
- Communicate explicitly regarding expectations of the friendship and how often you will communicate with one another
[i] Adele Ahlberg Calhoun Spiritual Discipline Handbook (Downers Grove: Intervarsity Press, 2005) 151.
[ii] Bible NRS
[iii] Bible NRS
[iv] Bible NRS