Prayer, fasting, and almsgiving are often called "spiritual disciplines." The term highlights their similarity to physical disciplines. But like a physical fitness program, we can go through the motions of these practices without deriving much benefit from them. Jesus wants the spiritual disciplines to work for us. Only the Holy Spirit can make us holy, but we can spur the Spirit to help us. That is what almsgiving, prayer, and fasting are: ways of seeking the Holy Spirit's help, ways of beginning to cooperate with his work in us.
In this Bible study, popular Scripture commentator Kevin Perrotta selects six readings from Scriptureone Old Testament and one New Testament text for each spiritual discipline. Each passage confront us with some of the most important aspects of these practices, showing us why we undertake them and how they can transform us so that we become more like the persons that God has created us to be.
Table of Contents
Welcome to The Word Among Us Keys to the Bible 6
Introduction: Seeking God through the Spiritual Disciplines 9
Session 1 A Woman of Faithful Kindness: Ruth Had Nothing but Herself to Give 18
Session 2 A Community of Sharers: The First Christians Let Go of What They Had 38
Session 3 A Prophet Running on Empty: In the Silence, Elijah Heard from God 54
Session 4 God's Sons and Daughters: We Pray with Christ, in the Spirit 72
Session 5 Those Who Fast Well: Real Fasting Involves Meeting Others' Needs 90
Session 6 Missionaries Seeking Direction: They Fasted for God's Guidance and Help 108
Practical Pointers for Bible Discussion Groups 126
Sources and Acknowledgments 130
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