Editor's 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.

Starting Soon: The 2020-21 Renovaré Book Club

An inten­tion­al way to read for trans­for­ma­tion not just infor­ma­tion. Runs Sep­tem­ber 2020 through May 2021.

Learn More >