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 (listed below), study, submission, and worship. Since the central focus of Christian spiritual formation is the with-God life, that topic begins the index.

Each section contains 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.

Renovaré Team

Excerpt from Life with God Spiritual Formation Bible
SOLI­TUDE: The cre­ation of an open, emp­ty space in our lives by pur­pose­ful­ly abstain­ing from inter­ac­tion with oth­er human beings, so that, freed from com­pet­ing loy­al­ties, we can be found by God. 

*Gen­e­sis 32:24

Jacob was left alone; and a man wres­tled with him until daybreak. 

Num­bers 23:9

Here is a peo­ple liv­ing alone, and not reck­on­ing itself among the nations! 

*1 Kings 17:4

I have com­mand­ed the ravens to feed you there. 

Psalm 62:5

For God alone my soul waits in silence, for my hope is from him. 

*Isa­iah 35:1

The wilder­ness and the dry land shall be glad, the desert shall rejoice and blossom. 

*Jere­mi­ah 15:16 – 18 

Under the weight of your hand I sat alone.

*Matthew 14:23

After he had dis­missed the crowds, he went up the moun­tain by him­self to pray. When evening came, he was there alone. 

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 6:31

Come away to a desert­ed place all by your­selves and rest a while. 

Mark 6:47

When evening came, the boat was out on the sea, and he was alone on the land. 

Mark 9:2

Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high moun­tain apart, by themselves.

*Luke 4:42

At day­break he depart­ed and went into a desert­ed place. 

Luke 5:16

He would with­draw to desert­ed places and pray. 

Luke 6:12

He went out to the moun­tain to pray; and he spent the night in prayer to God. 

Luke 9:18

Jesus was pray­ing alone, with only the dis­ci­ples near him. 

*John 8:29

The one who sent me is with me; he has not left me alone. 

*John 16:32

The hour is com­ing, indeed it has come, when… you will leave me alone. Yet I am not alone because the Father is with me. 

*Gal 1:17 – 22 

I went away at once into Arabia. 

1 Tim­o­thy 5:5

The real wid­ow, left alone, has set her hope on God. 

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.

Pho­to by Nathan McBride on Unsplash

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