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

PRAYER: Inter­ac­tive con­ver­sa­tion with God about what we and God are think­ing and doing together. 

Gen 18:23 – 33 Let me take it upon myself to speak to the Lord. 

*Gen 20:7 He will pray for you and you shall live. 

Gen 25:21 Isaac prayed to the Lord for his wife, because she was bar­ren; and the Lord grant­ed his prayer. 

Exod 33:18 Show me your glo­ry, I pray. 

*1 Sam 1:9 – 20 Han­nah … was deeply dis­tressed and prayed to the Lord, and wept bitterly. 

1 Sam 7:8 Do not cease to cry out to the Lord our God for us, and pray that he may save us.

*1 Sam 12:23 Ear be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by ceas­ing to pray for you; and I will instruct you in the good and the right way. 

*1 Kings 8:28 – 53 Regard your ser­van­t’s prayer and his plea, O Lord my God, heed­ing the cry and the prayer that your ser­vant prays to you today. 

1 Kings 9:3 I have heard your prayer and your plea, which you made before me. 

2 Kings 6:17 Then Elisha prayed: O Lord, please open his eyes that he may see.” 

*2 Kings 19:15 – 19 And Hezeki­ah prayed before the Lord.

*1 Chron 17:16 – 27 Then King David went in and sat before the Lord.

*1 Chron 21:17 Let your hand, I pray, O Lord my God, be against me and against my father’s house; but do not let your peo­ple be plagued! 

2 Chron 6:19 Regard your ser­van­t’s prayer and his plea, O Lord my God, heed­ing the cry and the prayer that your ser­vant prays to you. 

2 Chron 7:14 If my peo­ple who are called by my name hum­ble them­selves, pray, seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven. 

*2 Chron 30:18 – 19 Hezeki­ah prayed for them, say­ing, The good Lord par­don all.” 

2 Chron 33:13 He prayed to him, and God received his entreaty, heard his plea, and restored him again to Jerusalem and to his kingdom. 

Ezra 10:1 Ezra prayed and made con­fes­sion, weep­ing and throw­ing him­self down before the house of God. 

*Neh 1:4 – 11 When I heard these words I sat down and wept, and mourned for days, fast­ing and pray­ing before the God of heaven. 

*Neh 2:4 – 5 So I prayed to the God of heaven. 

Neh 4:9 So we prayed to our God, and set a guard as a pro­tec­tion against them day and night. 

Neh 11:17 Mat­ta­ni­ah … who was the leader to begin the thanks­giv­ing in prayer. 

*Job 42:10 And the Lord restored the for­tunes of Job when he had prayed for his friends. 

Ps 17:1 Hear a just cause, O Lord; attend to my cry; give ear to my prayer from lips free of deceit. 

Ps 32:6 There­fore let all who are faith­ful offer prayer to you. 

Ps 39:12 Hear my prayer, O Lord, and give ear to my cry.

Ps 42:8 By day the Lord com­mands his stead­fast love, and at night his song is with me, a prayer to the God of my life. 

Ps 65:2 O you who answer prayer! To you all flesh shall come. 

Ps 69:13 But as for me, my prayer is to you, O Lord. 

Ps 72:15 May prayer be made for him con­tin­u­al­ly, and bless­ings invoked for him all day long. 

Ps 102:17 He will regard the prayer of the des­ti­tute, and will not despise their prayer. 

Ps 109:4 In return for my love they accuse me, even while I make prayer for them. 

*Ps 123:3 Have mer­cy upon us, O Lord. 

*Ps 141:2 Let my prayer be count­ed as incense before you, and the lift­ing up of my hands as an evening sacrifice. 

Ps 143:1 Hear my prayer, O Lord; give ear to my sup­pli­ca­tions in your faith­ful­ness; answer me in your righteousness. 

Prov 15:29 The Lord is far from the wicked, but he hears the prayer of the righteous. 

*Prov 28:9 When one will not lis­ten to the law, even one’s prayers are an abomination. 

*Isa 26:16 O Lord, in dis­tress they sought you, they poured out a prayer when your chas­ten­ing was on them. 

*Isa 36:15 Do not let Hezeki­ah make you rely on the Lord by say­ing, The Lord will sure­ly deliv­er us. 

Isa 37:21 – 22 Because you have prayed to me … this is the word that the Lord has spoken. 

*Isa 38:3 – 7 Remem­ber now, O Lord, I implore you, how I have walked before you in faith­ful­ness with a whole heart. 

*Isa 56:7 My house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples. 

*Jer 12:1 You will be in the right, O Lord, when I lay charges against you; but let me put my case to you.

*Jer 29:7 But seek the wel­fare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf. 

*Jer 29:11 – 13 Then when you call upon me and come and pray to me, I will hear you. 

*Lam 3:44 You have wrapped your­self with a cloud so that no prayer can pass through. 

*Dan 6:10 Daniel… con­tin­ued to … get down on his knees three times a day to pray to his God and praise him, just as he had done previously. 

*Dan 9:3 – 21 I prayed to the Lord my God and made confession. 

*Jon 2:1 – 9 Then Jon­ah prayed to the Lord his God from the bel­ly of the fish. 

*Jon 4:2 – 3 He prayed to the Lord and said, O Lord! Is not this what I said while I was still in my own country?” 

*Add to Esther 14:1 – 3 She prayed to the Lord God of Israel, and said: O my Lord, you only are our king; help me, who am alone and have no helper but you.” 

1 Esd 8:91 Ezra was pray­ing and making 

his con­fes­sion, weep­ing and lying on the ground before the temple. 

2 Esd 7:110 – 12 So if now, when corruption 

has increased and unright­eous­ness has mul­ti­plied, the right­eous have prayed for the ungod­ly, why will it not be so then as well? 

*2 Esd 9:43 – 45 Every hour and every day dur­ing those thir­ty years I prayed to the Most High, night and day. 

*1 Macc 12:11 We there­fore remem­ber you con­stant­ly … in our prayers, as it is right and prop­er to remem­ber brothers. 

*2 Macc 1:2 – 6 May God do good to you. 

*2 Macc 13:10 – 12 He ordered the peo­ple to call upon the Lord day and night. 

*3 Macc 5:7 – 9 With tears and a voice hard to silence they all called upon the Almighty God and Ruler of all power. 

* Wisd of Sol 7:7 There­fore I prayed, and under­stand­ing was giv­en me. 

*Wisd of Sol 16:28 One must rise before the sun to give you thanks, and must pray to you at the dawn­ing of the light. 

*Sir7:10 Do not grow weary when you pray. 

*Sir 21:5 The prayer of the poor goes from their lips to the ears of God, and his judg­ment comes speedily. 

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

Sir 35:20 – 22 The one whose ser­vice is pleas­ing to the Lord will be accept­ed, and his prayer will reach to the clouds. 

*Sir 38:9 – 14 My child, when you are ill, do not delay, but pray to the Lord, and he will heal you. 

*Sir 39:5 – 6 He sets his heart to rise ear­ly to seek the Lord who made him, and to peti­tion the Most High. 

Sir 51:13 While I was still young, before I went on my trav­els, I sought wis­dom open­ly in my prayer. 

Bar 2:14 Hear, O Lord, our prayer and our sup­pli­ca­tion, and for your own sake deliv­er us. 

Toh 3:1 Then with much grief and anguish of heart I wept, and with groan­ing began to pray. 

*Tob 3:11 – 16 At that same time, with hands out­stretched toward the win­dow, she prayed. 

*Tob 7:16 Take courage, my daugh­ter; the Lord of heav­en grant you joy in place of your sorrow.

Matt 5:44 Love your ene­mies and pray for those who per­se­cute you. 

Matt 6:5 – 9 When­ev­er you pray, do not be like the hyp­ocrites; for they love to stand and pray … so that they may be seen by others. 

Matt 14:23 After he had dis­missed the crowds, he went up the moun­tain by him­self to pray. 

Matt 21:13 It is writ­ten, My house shall be called a house of prayer”; but you are mak­ing it a den of robbers.

Matt 21:22 What­ev­er you ask for in prayer with faith, you will receive. 

Matt 26:36 – 44 Then Jesus went with them to a place called Geth­se­mane; and he said to his dis­ci­ples, Sit here while I go over there and pray” 

Mark 1:35 In the morn­ing, while it was still very dark, he got up and went out to a desert­ed place, and there he prayed. 

Mark 6:46 After say­ing farewell to them, he went up on the moun­tain to pray. 

Mark 9:29 This kind can come out only through prayer. 

Mark 11:17 Is it not writ­ten, My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations”? But you have made it a den of robbers. 

Mark 11:24 What­ev­er you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.

Mark 11:25 When­ev­er you stand pray­ing, for­give, if you have any­thing against any­one; so that your Father in heav­en may also for­give you your trespasses. 

Mark 14:32 – 39 They went to a place called Geth­se­mane; and he said to his dis­ci­ples, Sit here while I pray.” 

Luke 2:37 She nev­er left the tem­ple but wor­shiped there with fast­ing and prayer night and day. 

Luke 3:21 When Jesus also had been bap­tized and was pray­ing, the heav­en was opened. 

Luke 5:16 He would with­draw to desert­ed places and pray. 

Luke 6:12 Now dur­ing those days he went out to the moun­tain to pray; and he spent the night in prayer to God. 

*Luke 6:28 Bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. 

Luke 9:28 – 29 Jesus took with him Peter and John and James, and went up on the moun­tain to pray. 

Luke 11:1 He was pray­ing in a cer­tain place, and after he had fin­ished, one of his dis­ci­ples said to him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.” 

Luke 11:2 – 13 When you pray, say: Father, hal­lowed be your name.”

Luke 18:1 – 8 Then Jesus told them a para­ble about their need to pray always and not to lose heart. 

Luke 18:10 – 14 Two men went up to the tem­ple to pray, one a Phar­isee and the oth­er a tax collector. 

*Luke 22:32 I have prayed for you that your own faith may not fail. 

Luke 22:40 – 46 In his anguish he prayed more earnest­ly, and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down on the ground. 

*John 11:41 – 42 And Jesus looked upward and said, Father, I thank you for hav­ing heard me.” 

Acts 1:14 All these were con­stant­ly devot­ing them­selves to prayer. 

Acts 2:42 They devot­ed them­selves to the apos­tles’ teach­ing and fel­low­ship, to the break­ing of bread and the prayers. 

Acts 6:4 We, for our part, will devote our­selves to prayer and to serv­ing the word. 

Acts 6:6 They had these men stand before the apos­tles, who prayed and laid their hands on them. 

Acts 8:15 The two went down and prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit. 

Acts 9:11 Get up and go … look for a man of Tar­sus named Saul. At this moment he is praying. 

*Acts 10:2 He was a devout man who feared God with all his house­hold; he gave alms gen­er­ous­ly to the peo­ple and prayed con­stant­ly to God. 

Acts 10:4 Your prayers and your alms have ascend­ed as a memo­r­i­al before God. 

Acts 11:5 I was in the city of Jop­pa pray­ing, and in a trance I saw a vision.

Acts 12:5 While Peter was kept in prison, the church prayed fer­vent­ly to God for him. 

Acts 13:3 Then after fast­ing and pray­ing they laid their hands on them and sent them off. 

Acts 14:23 With prayer and fast­ing they entrust­ed them to the Lord in whom they had come to believe. 

Acts 16:13 There was a place of prayer; and we sat down and spoke to the women who had gath­ered there. 

Acts 16:25 About mid­night Paul and Silas were pray­ing and singing hymns to God. 

Acts 22:17 While I was pray­ing in the tem­ple, I fell into a trance. 

*Acts 28:8 Paul vis­it­ed him and cured him by pray­ing and putting his hands on him. 

*Rom 8:26 We do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spir­it inter­cedes with sighs too deep for words. 

Rom 12:12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in suf­fer­ing, per­se­vere in prayer. 

*1 Cor 1:4 I give thanks to my God always for you. 

*1 Cor 7:5 Do not deprive one anoth­er except per­haps by agree­ment for a set time, to devote your­selves to prayer. 

1 Cor 14:13 – 15 There­fore, one who speaks in a tongue should pray for the pow­er to interpret. 

2 Cor 1:11 Many will give thanks on our behalf for the bless­ing grant­ed us through the prayers of many. 

*Eph 1:16 I do not cease to give thanks for you as I remem­ber you in my prayers. 

*Eph 6:18 Pray in the Spir­it at all times in every prayer and supplication. 

Phil 1:3 – 4 I thank my God every time I remem­ber you, con­stant­ly pray­ing with joy in every one of my prayers for all of you. 

Phil 4:6 In every­thing by prayer and sup­pli­ca­tion with thanks­giv­ing let your requests be made known to God.

Col 4:2 Devote your­selves to prayer, keep­ing alert in it with thanksgiving.

*Col 4:12 He is always wrestling in his prayers on your behalf, so that you may stand mature and ful­ly assured in every­thing that God wills. 

1 Thess 5:17 Pray with­out ceasing. 

1 Tim 2:8 I desire, then, that in every place the men should pray, lift­ing up holy hands with­out anger or argument. 

1 Tim 4:5 It is sanc­ti­fied by God’s word and by prayer. 

1 Tim 5:5 The real wid­ow, left alone, has set her hope on God and con­tin­ues in sup­pli­ca­tions and prayers night and day. 

Heb 5:7 In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and sup­pli­ca­tions, with loud cries and tears. 

James 5:13 – 16 Are any among you suf­fer­ing? They should pray. 

James 5:17 – 18 Eli­jah … prayed fer­vent­ly that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. 

*1 Pet 3:7 Hus­bands, in the same way, show con­sid­er­a­tion for your wives … so that noth­ing may hin­der your prayers. 

1 Pet 3:12 For the eyes of the Lord are on the right­eous, and his ears are open to their prayer. 

1 Pet 4:7 Be seri­ous and dis­ci­pline your­selves for the sake of your prayers. 

Jude 20 But you, beloved, build your­selves up on your most holy faith; pray in the Holy Spirit.

Rev 5:8 Each [held] a harp and gold­en bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. 

Rev 8:3 – 4 He was giv­en a great quan­ti­ty of incense to offer with the prayers of all the saints on the gold­en altar that is before the throne. 

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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