Personal disciplines are activities the individual Christian should embark upon in order develop him/herself as a mature, Christ-like believer. The internal personal disciplines are those that are done individually and mostly alone and for personal benefit.
Helps on Christian mediation will be provided here when available.
Having a personal prayer plan can enhance your prayer experience. In Matthew 6:9-13, Jesus teaches believers to pray in a certain way. A plan will provide direction and focus in your prayer life. Our desire should be to encounter the God who answers prayer. Believers should resist the temptation to allow any plan to become a means to an end. Jesus warns against prayer being treated as simply a ritual or religious activity (see Matt. 6:7-8). The following tools are provided as a reference to help enhance your prayer life and take it to the next level. Some tools may be beneficial for you. Others might not seem all that significant right now, but you may find them helpful later. Most of these tools can be found elsewhere, and are not original to BuildingChurch Ministries.
- A.C.T.S. Acrostic
- Spend time praising the Lord and adoring Him for who he is (Matt. 6:9).
- Use Scripture to praise Him (see Psalms 103, 145, 150; Rev. 4:8; 5:12-14).
- Love and cherish His presence and allow Him to work in and through your life (see Matt. 22:32-34).
- Be still before Him and enjoy His presence (see Ps. 46:10).
- Use this time to allow God to speak to you through His Word and Spirit (see Pss. 40:1-3; 90:12-17).
- Praise the Lord by praying scripture or songs back to Him (see Ps. 84; Rev. 4:8; 5:9-10, 12-13 and “Great is Thy Faithfulness”).
- Confession should be a part of your continual walk with Christ (see Matt. 6:9-13).
- Spend time asking Christ to search your heart for areas that displease Him (see Ps. 139:23-24).
- Allow God to cleanse your heart of any unconfessed sin (see Ps. 51:10-13).
- Be sure to spend time confessing and repenting of (turning away from) specific sins (see 1 John 1:9).
- Accept His forgiveness and cleansing (see Jer. 31:34).
- Giving thanks for all things should be a part of our everyday lives as God’s people (see Phil. 4:6-7).
- This includes thanking God for specific things such as blessings, people, open doors, guidance, etc.
- Also give thanks for His salvation and the privilege to serve such a wonderful Savior.
- Thank Him for his goodness, loving-kindness, and faithfulness (see Ps. 100:4-6).
- We are called as believers to intercessory prayer (see Matt. 6:9-13; Luke 18:1; Col. 4:2; 1 Tim. 2:1-4).
- Thus, we are to come before God on behalf of others (see Heb. 10:19-25; Rev. 1:4-6).
- Spend time praying for specific people, events, states, countries, missionaries, etc. (see Acts 12:5; Rom. 10:1).
- In addition, spend time praying for personal needs (see Matt. 6:11-13).
- Make prayer lists for your time of supplication.
- Be sure to include a place for answers to be recorded. Recorded answers can become items for praise and thanksgiving.
- Further explanation can be found here: ligonier.org/blog/simple-acrostic-prayer/
- Praying Through Scripture – A simple description of how to use Scripture as a catalyst for prayer.
- Prayer Walking – An overview of prayerwalking and basic instructions for effective prayerwalking.
- Spiritual Warfare
Jesus said, “When you fast,” not “If you fast” (Matt 6:16). Therefore, he assumed that believers would practice the discipline of fasting. It is not an option. Fasting helps the believer remove the focus from earthly pleasures and focusses on the grace and glory and wonder of God, and the pleasure of knowing and pleasing God. For further understanding, Richard Foster‘s chapter on fasting is priceless. I would suggest buying his book just for this one chapter.
- Andrew Kulp’s Basic Guide to Studying the Bible – A basic list of suggested tools to be used in Bible study and an outline of the process to go through in order to maximize the effectiveness of personal and group Bible study.
- BuildingChurch Ministries‘ translation of choice is the English Standard Version (ESV). The ESV balances the literal accuracy of the NASB with the readability of other translations, and is highly respected by many contemporary authors, preachers, and theologians.
- ChristianBook.com is an excellent source for purchasing Christian-oriented books and study materials. All purchases made after clicking-through from BuildingChurch.net help keep us online. However, please be aware that using coupon codes such as free shipping will negate our affiliate credit.
- As “Progressive Christianity” and Secular Humanism continue to build influence in our society, understanding what we believe and why is becoming increasingly important. We recommend two easy to read, narrative-style resources to help you be equipped to answer these challenges and to boost your confidence in the reliability of the Bible and your faith:
- Another Gospel by Alisa Childers – an autobiographical response to Progressive Christianity
- The Coffee House Chronicles set by Josh McDowell, containing Is The Bible True … Really?, Who Is Jesus … Really?, and Did the Resurrection Happen … Really?, is a series of novellas, addressing the secular humanism challenges likely to be faced on any college campus today.