In my given faith exposure to the Spiritual Disciplines was rather limited; there was fasting that we did during Lent, and prayer that was for a lack of a better term, scripted. Intercessory prayers were made mostly to the venerated saints instead of directly to Jesus Christ. In fact, two of the most common intercessory prayers I said to the saints were to St. Jude, the Patron Saint of Hopelessness and St. Michael, the Archangel, who is the Patron Saint and protector of those in public safety. For many years it was understood that if you needed something in prayer, you prayed to the appropriate saint in ritualistic prayer.
As I mentioned fasting was associated with ...view middle of the document...
They remove the mediator of organized religion and allow us to courageously enter into the presence of the living God by ourselves (Foster, 1998, p. 24). In all actuality this can be a scary reality as you never know what you may hear when practicing these disciplines, especially meditation.
My instructor in Spiritual Warfare described a day when he was fervently praying and meditating on the Word of God when suddenly heard the words “are you ready” (E. Irizarry, personal communication, March 19, 2014). As he describes, it scared him so bad that he ran around his apartment looking for the source of the voice, even asking his own wife in the next room “did you hear that?” (E. Irizarry, personal communication, March 19, 2014). Realizing it was the voice of God heard internally in his spirit, he was left with no other choice but to obey what he was hearing. It is my belief that prayer combined with fasting is the most powerful of all the disciplines combined. They are personal and have potential to increase our effectiveness in intercessory prayer for ourselves and for others, and just as important, provide us guidance when we need it most (Foster, 1998, p. 56).
The outward disciplines are the ones you wear on your sleeve and as such that is what makes them truly outward. Probably the most notable of the outward appearances is simplicity and service. With simplicity the spirit that liberates us affects how we live (Foster, 1998, p. 89) and those who live the simple life are genuinely more carefree and happy than most. There is no anxiety as they realize God provides all and will naturally care for all. The materialism of this world does not manifest in the simple life.
Service is described as an authority of function and not of status (Foster, 1998, p. 127), we serve out of calling or divine urging (Foster, 1998, p. 128). Thusly I and my colleagues have spent most of our adult lives serving others with the many gifts and talents the Lord has blessed us with. ...