Sunday, December 6, 2015

Four Basic Spiritual Disciplines

UV 1606/10000 Four Basic Spiritual Disciplines
And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.
Acts 2 v 42
The apostles expounded or explained the teachings of Jesus. We are exhorted to be steadfast or diligent in learning these doctrines or fundamental precepts of life and leadership and apply these in practical ways. The truth has to be mixed with our words, thoughts and actions even as salt easily mingles with a meal. The second discipline or practice that we need to cultivate or follow is to have regular fellowship with believers and to commune with them, to share our burdens with each other. The third spiritual discipline is prayer- prayer at different times of the day as the Spirit leads, as the need arises as well as prayer along with our family and fellow believers.

Being steadfast in these spiritual disciplines enable us to grow in grace and truth, to be low profile but high impact leaders of our times. The attitude with which we practice each is far more important than the duration or the frequency. Daniel prayed thrice a day while David prayed seven times a day. Paul exhorted the believers to pray at all times. Prayer births miracles. Yesterday, it was pouring heavily in the morning and increasing the misery of millions but soon after many people started praying, the rains that were predicted to continue stopped within the day. Today, we have a perfectly clear and sunny day.

Prayer is our lifeline of communication with the Lord. There are different kinds of prayer – prayer for confession, prayer for supplication, prayer for praise and thanksgiving, prayer for victory, prayer for healing, prayer for deliverance, prayer for wisdom and guidance. We can pray lying flat on our face as I do every day or pray while walking or pray in a kneeling position. Feeding on the Word of God should not be left for only one day in a week but it needs to be a daily practice. The Word communicates the joy of the Lord or what pleases the Lord to our hearts and that in turn becomes a source of strength as we do it. Fellowship with like-spirited persons is vital as we sharpen, comfort, encourage and correct each other as iron sharpens iron. Breaking of bread refers to participation in the Lord’s table as well as having common meals. Jesus said, “ I am the Bread of Life.” When we participate in the Lord’s table we celebrate Jesus as the Bread – our most fundamental spiritual need.

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