Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment.
Matthew 22: 37-38
God is always present with us, but if our attention is elsewhere, we’re less likely to hear what God wishes to say to us, to understand his plan for our lives, or to feel his love and care.
It’s therefore really important to devote regular time to simple spiritual practices and develop them into good habits to keep them going. Each of these practices will deepen our relationship with Jesus and help us to hear, love and serve Him.
Prayer is central to Christian living. When we pray, we hope and trust that something will change for the better – in ourselves and in the world around us. It is also our direct and personal conversation with God; there’s no other way to get closer to Him. It is a daily habit worth growing.
There are some excellent prayer resources to help us grow in our prayer life, whether we’re just beginning, or have a lifetime of experience. These are a few prayer sites to try, but the important thing is to simply talk to God as your friend, and learn how to listen too.
Reading the Bible
The Bible is the Word of God, given to us through faithful writers over centuries who God spoke to powerfully. The writings teach us about human life in all its failing and fullness, showing us how to live better through its stories of others’ mistakes and victories, and of course, through the life and teachings of Jesus.
Time spent reading and studying the Bible will never be wasted time – God honours our commitment and will speak to us personally and as a Church through regular Bible study. These are some resources to help you do that daily.
Small groups which are intentionally focused on discipleship are one of the most effective ways of growing faith. They can also multiply leaders in the Church and often lead to a significant acceleration of fellowship, Bible study, witness, prayer and service. Read more about this.
Going to Church
The Bible repeatedly encourages us to keep meeting together as a church family, encouraging one another, hearing readings from Scripture, singing songs of worship and listening to preachers. God uses this time to speak to us personally through sermons, music, prayers and in the conversations with others, so it is an effective and enjoyable way of growing in faith.
There are lots of ways to do this:
- Attending Church services each Sunday in a traditional way
- Attending small groups which have a more intimate fellowship
- Being a part of a new and growing worshipping community that looks a little different to a traditional Sunday service, but which still includes prayer, worship and talks tailored to suit the context. You might even like to start one, or join with others from your Church to support one.
Spiritual direction and retreat
Read more on the Spiritual direction and retreat page.
There are countless ways to serve! Here in the Diocese of Guildford, we have collectively identified three priorities for our Christian mission and ministry. Follow these links to see just some of the ways you can serve.
You might like to serve God by offering your time and gifts to your Church in some sort of leadership role or vocation. Read more about this.
Growing in giving is a key element in the discipleship journey. Explore the ways you can give, or encourage others to live generously.