Resources for you to grow on your own or in groups.
Spiritual practices are for everybody, and anyone can do them.
These resources are for people who want to grow in faith but have had a hard time doing so. Either because they don’t know how, or because they have had bad experiences with religion.
Spiritual practices are simply things we do to open our hearts and lives to God’s grace and goodness.
Spiritual practices include (but aren’t limited to): engaging the Bible, praying, eating special meals, baptism, serving the community, worshipping, giving, fasting, resting and sharing your faith in God with others. Jesus himself did all these things. His closest followers did. So, if we want to know Jesus and practices his way, spiritual practices are a great place to start.
Below are exercises for you to try on your own (for the most part). One tip: Pay attention to how you feel and think after doing these.
Engaging The Bible
The Bible is like a library of books that can show us God’s heart if we’re willing to do some work. After all, the Bible can be very confusing and bizarre. It’s one connected story made up of thousands of stories and pieces of writing from thousands of different people, times, and places. The more we see of this connected story, the more we’ll see God’s heart.
Here’s a good beginner exercise for growing with God through the Bible.
- Find a quiet place, inside or out, a place that helps you feel peace.
- Now, say a prayer asking God to help you understand what you’re about to read.
- Read Jesus’s story in Luke 15:11-32 (which simply means the book of Luke, the 15th chapter, verses 11 through 32). Click here to read now.
- Now just take a minute to consider what struck you–what inspired or challenged you.
- Now turn what struck you into a prayer. For example, if you were struck by the father’s forgiveness, maybe that means you’re hoping God forgives you, and you want to say, God please forgive me for what I’ve done. Help me to know your forgiveness. In Jesus’s name, amen.
If you wanted to go even deeper, you could seek resources to help you understand more of what’s going on in this story, which could change how you see God through it. For instance, you could go to a website called The Bible Project and watch this video .
Then, you could read the story again and see what changes.
Eating Special Meals
Jesus gathered with people around meals all of the time. It was his favorite image for what God’s kingdom on earth will look like. One book of the Bible says that the first followers of Jesus also ate meals together as a spiritual practice. This practice is easy, sort of.
- Eat a meal with your family or friends.
- Don’t rush the preparation of the meal. Thank God for the ingredients as you prepare it.
- Don’t rush eating the meal together.
- Add in a spiritual reflection like going around the table and sharing something you’re thankful for.
There is a most special meal Jesus ate with his followers we call the Last Supper. If you want to learn more about that, watch this video (link to one of our Sunday videos with communion.)
Serving the Community
One of the best ways to know God is through serving people and seeing people as God’s masterpieces like God does. You can literally do this anywhere, anytime. You can call the person in the checkout line by name and see them as God’s creation and show them kindness. You can do something to care for your neighbor or coworker in an extraordinary way. You can check out our Partners page and contact them to serve. And/or you can serve with our church in one of our church-wide initiatives. But don’t wait! You can serve someone with God’s love today. Ask God to show you whom you can serve, and just go do it.
A life-changing practice is giving, because it can help us experience the freeing truth that the earth and everything in it belongs to God, as the Bible says. Jesus talked about money as much as he talked about any other topic, with a couple of exceptions.
This exercise is pretty simple:
- Read this quick perspective from Jesus.
- Say a prayer, like God, help me to be generous. As an act of faith, I would like to give some of what You have given me away. Will you help me know how much I should give?
- Then, if you would like to give to the mission of HeavenEarth Church, you can do so here.
- If you’d rather give it to another organization, consider one of the organizations on our Partners page.
So many people feel like they have no idea how or what to pray. If you feel that way, start with this 7-minute video.
Then, try to be in prayer for 3-5 minutes where you clear your mind and picture yourself “bending toward the light of God.”
You might even just say, God, I am trying to pray right now, which is hard for me. I want to be in your light for a moment. Will you meet with me?
Then, try to call to mind a few things you are grateful for.
Then, search your heart and mind for things for which you need help or forgiveness, or healing.
Finally, end with a statement of trust such as, God, I believe you will work through these prayers. Help me to see it. In Jesus’s name, amen.
You can also check out this video on what is called The Lord’s Prayer.
If you want more prayer exercises, check out our article that has more prayer exercises.
This practice is one of the most important spiritual practices. Baptism is what a person does to symbolize their acceptance of the gift of Jesus’s Life and their commitment to join the mission of Jesus with the Church. If you’re considering this step, we’d love to help you. Contact Ross (link).
This isn’t one you can do on your own, but it is something you can learn about on your own and consider doing. The best way to learn about it is to watch a baptism we did recently.
Worship is when set aside time and space to pay special attention to God. It’s often a time when we utilize several spiritual practices in the same space. If you want to try out worship, check out this online worship exercise you can do.
Worship is always better with more than one person by the way. We’re made to grow with God in community.
We value meeting you where you are and helping you take the next step in faith. If there’s something we can do to help you, we hope you will let us know.