Introductory Note:

This selective, topical index is designed to help readers get a picture of the with-God life presented in the Bible and the role of the Spiritual Disciplines in fostering that kind of life toward its fullness. The passages listed either contain a specific reference to a topic serving as a discipline (e.g., the word “meditation”) or are about that topic without using the specific term. Because this index is selective, it does not list every passage in the Bible on each topic, and the entries are restricted to the topic’s role as a Spiritual Discipline. Some of the entries are negative examples of the practice of a particular discipline.

The list of disciplines chosen for this index also does not include every practice or situation that could actually serve as a discipline in the process of spiritual formation. The disciplines under consideration here include celebration, chastity, confession, fasting, fellowship, guidance, meditation, prayer, sacrifice, secrecy, service, silence, simplicity/frugality, solitude, study, submission, and worship. Since the central focus of Christian spiritual formation is the with-God life, that topic begins the index. It is followed by sections containing scriptural references for the various disciplines, in alphabetical order. Those references for which there are spiritual formation exercises are designated by an asterisk.

No doubt some passages may have been omitted that might be very useful for understanding spiritual formation. What is given here is intended to provide only a substantial introduction to the presence and importance of Spiritual Disciplines in the Bible. For further study on disciplines and how they are to be practiced, please see Richard Foster, Celebration of Discipline, and Dallas Willard, The Spirit of the Disciplines.

We are releasing this Bible in two editions—with and without the Deuterocanonial Books. (See the Foreword for a general statement.) In the Spiritual Disciplines Index, you will see some references to passages in the Deuterocanonial Books. These references will be in italics to differentiate their status from the New and the Old Testaments.

Renovaré Team

Excerpt from Life with God Spiritual Formation Bible

FAST­ING: The vol­un­tary absten­tion from an oth­er­wise nor­mal func­tion — most often eat­ing — for the sake of intense spir­i­tu­al activity. 

*Deut 8:3 One does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.

*1 Sam 7:6 They fast­ed that day, and said, We have sinned against the Lord.” 

*1 Sam 31:13 Then they took their bones and buried them under the tamarisk tree in Jabesh, and fast­ed sev­en days. 

*2 Sam 12:16, 21 – 23 David there­fore plead­ed with God for the child; David fast­ed, and went in and lay all night on the ground. 

*1 Kings 21:27 – 29 When Ahab heard those words, he tore his clothes and put sack­cloth over his bare flesh; he fast­ed, lay in the sack­cloth, and went about dejectedly. 

*2 Chron 20:3 Jehoshaphat was afraid; he set him­self to seek the Lord, and pro­claimed a fast through­out all Judah. 

*Ezra 8:21 – 23 I pro­claimed a fast there, at the riv­er Aha­va, that we might deny our­selves before our God.

Neh 1:4 When I heard these words I sat down and wept, and mourned for days, fast­ing and pray­ing before the God of heaven. 

*Neh 9:1 Now on the twen­ty-fourth day of this month the peo­ple of Israel were assem­bled with fast­ing and in sack­cloth, and with earth on their heads. 

*Esther 4:3 In every province, wher­ev­er the king’s com­mand and his decree came, there was great mourn­ing among the Jews, with fast­ing and weep­ing and lamenting. 

*Esther 4:16 Hold a fast on my behalf, and nei­ther eat nor drink for three days, night or day. I and my maids will also fast as you do. 

Esther 9:31 They had laid down for them­selves and for their descen­dants reg­u­la­tions con­cern­ing their fasts and their lamentations. 

*Ps 35:13 But as for me, when they were sick, I wore sack­cloth; I afflict­ed myself with fasting. 

Ps 69:10 When I hum­bled my soul with fast­ing, they insult­ed me for doing so. 

*Ps 109:24 My knees are weak through fast­ing; my body has become gaunt. 

*Isa 58:3 – 6 You fast only to quar­rel and to fight and to strike with a wicked fist. Such fast­ing as you do today will not make your voice heard on high. 

Jer 14:12 Although they fast, I do not hear their cry. 

Dan 6:18 Then the king went to his palace and spent the night fast­ing; no food was brought to him, and sleep fled from him. 

Dan 9:3 Then I turned to the Lord God, to seek an answer by prayer and sup pli­ca­tion with fast­ing and sack­cloth and ashes. 

*Joel 2:12 – 13 Yet even now, says the Lord, return to me with all your heart, with fast­ing, with weep­ing, and with mourning. 

Joel 2:15 Blow the trum­pet in Zion; sanc­ti­fy a fast; call a solemn assembly. 

*Jon 3:5 And the peo­ple of Nin­eveh believed God; they pro­claimed a fast, and every­one, great and small, put on sackcloth. 

*Zech 7:5 When you fast­ed and lament­ed in the fifth month and in the sev­enth, for these sev­en­ty years, was it for me that you fasted? 

*Zech 8:19 The fast of the fourth month, and the fast of the fifth, and the fast of the sev­enth, and the fast of the tenth, shall be sea­sons of joy and glad­ness, and cheer­ful fes­ti­vals for the house of Judah. 

*1 Esd 8:50 There I pro­claimed a fast for the young men before our Lord, to seek from him a pros­per­ous jour­ney for ourselves. 

*2 Esd 5:13, 20 If you pray again, and weep as you do now, and fast for sev­en days, you shall hear yet greater things than these. 

2 Esd 6:31 – 35 If there­fore you will pray again and fast again for sev­en days, I will again declare to you greater things than these. 

*Jth 4:9 – 13 The Lord heard their prayers and had regard for their dis­tress; for the peo­ple fast­ed many days… before the sanc­tu­ary of the Lord Almighty. 

*Jth 8:6 She fast­ed all the days of her wid­ow­hood, except the day before the sab­bath and the sab­bath itself, the day before the new moon and the day of the new moon, and the fes­ti­vals and days of rejoic­ing of the house of Israel. 

*1 Macc 3:47 They fast­ed that day, put on sack­cloth and sprin­kled ash­es on their heads, and tore their clothes. 

2 Macc 13:12 They had all joined in the same peti­tion and had implored the mer­ci­ful Lord with weep­ing and fast­ing and lying pros­trate for three days with­out ceasing. 

Sir 34:31 So if one fasts for his sins, and goes again and does the same things, who will lis­ten to his prayer? 

Bar 1:5 Then they wept, and fast­ed, and prayed before the Lord. 

Mob 12:8 Prayer with fast­ing is good, but bet­ter than both is alms­giv­ing with righteousness.

Matt 4:2 He fast­ed forty days and forty nights, and after­wards he was famished. 

Matt 6:16 – 18 And when­ev­er you fast, do not look dis­mal, like the hyp­ocrites, for they dis­fig­ure their faces so as to show oth­ers that they are fasting. 

Matt 9:14 – 15 The days will come when the bride­groom is tak­en away from them, and then they will fast. 

Mark 2:18 – 19 The days will come when the bride­groom is tak­en away from them, and then they will fast on that day. 

Luke 5:33 – 35 The days will come when the bride­groom will be tak­en away from them, and then they will fast in those days. 

*Rev 13:10 Here is a call for the endurance and faith of the saints.

Excerpt­ed from the Life with God Bible (New Revised Stan­dard Ver­sion), with spe­cial thanks to Harper­One and to the late Dal­las Willard who com­piled the Index.

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