The word “discipline” seems like a bad word, but it really isn’t. Think of the Christian disciplines as the habits we form in order to be in training as followers of Jesus. These disciplines are like going to the gym and doing cardio workouts or lifting weights. They are the small things we do to keep our eyes on Jesus so we can become more like him.
In his book, Celebration of Discipline, Richard Foster talks about inward disciplines focused on our internal life, outward disciplines which emphasize things we do related to the environment around us, and the corporate disciplines that we do with other people. Doing these things does not change us, but they put us in a place where we can be changed. The Holy Spirit who proceeds from the Father and Son changes us and empowers us as we practice these disciplines.
The inward disciplines are things like prayer, fasting, and Scripture reading. We pray the prayers given to us by the church, prayers like:
+ the Psalm for the Day
+ the Prayer for the Week
+ the Jesus prayer
+ the Lord’s prayer
Scripture reading includes the Scripture for the Week and other Bible reading.
The outward disciplines are things like simplicity, solitude, and giving tithes and offerings. The practice of simplicity is choosing to slow down the busyness of our lives, learning to say no, and creating margins in our schedule. Solitude is scheduling time to be alone with God. The Upper Room is a great place to find solitude. Giving tithes is where we give God the first 10% of our income. Giving offerings is any amount above that. You can give online via PushPay.
Learn more about the christian disciplines from Richard Foster in his book Celebration of Discipline.