Abiding and Abounding, Session 1

Session 1 Notes

Recommended Resources, Books:

Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life by Donald S. Whitney
Simplify Your Spiritual Life by Donald S. Whitney
Celebration of Discipline by Richard J. Foster
The Spirit of the Disciplines by Dallas Willard

Recommended Resources, Websites:

Abiding and Abounding, Prayer resources


What are spiritual disciplines?

Don Whitney:

“The spiritual disciplines are those personal and corporate disciplines that promote _______________  __________.”

Dallas Willard:

“Any activity that is in our power and enables us to achieve by grace what we cannot achieve by direct effort is a discipline of the spiritual life.”

Why to Practice the Spiritual Disciplines

  1. Jesus ___________ and ___________________ them (Matt. 6; Mark 1:35).
  2. We are commanded to discipline ourselves (1 Timothy 4:7).
  3. They help us ________ the “vague” commands in Scripture.
  4. They help us to bear much fruit by keeping us connected to the vine (John 15).
  5. They can lead to inward ______________________.
  6. There is _______________ and joy in embracing the disciplines.
  7. All godly people are disciplined people.
  8. Do them for the ____________ of ______ (1 Cor. 10:31).

Why NOT to Practice the Spiritual Disciplines: Some Pitfalls

  1. As an attempt to earn or maintain _____________________
  2. To earn the grace, favor, pleasure, or love of God
  3. As a means of external righteousness
  4. Because “good Christians are supposed to”
  5. As a means of changing yourself
  6. To get a _______________ or experience
  7. Pride
  8. Rut / Routine

Words and Warnings Concerning Spiritual Disciplines

  • They are incredibly hard to do. It is spiritual warfare!
  • Don’t wait until your heart is in it.
  • They take consecrated, enduring time.
  • You won’t always feel good (or be good) afterward.
  • There will be seasons of vitality and dryness.
  • It’s OK to rotate or emphasize disciplines at different times.
  • Be flexible and find what works best for you.


Definition of Prayer

Prayer is ____________ that involves the intercourse of the soul with God, not in contemplation or meditation, but in ___________ _____________ to him. Prayer may be oral or mental, occasional or constant, spontaneous or formal, private (individual) or public (corporate).

Elements of Prayer

  • Adoration: _______________ God just for who He is
  • __________________: agreeing with God about our sin
  • Thanksgiving: expressing gratitude to God for what He has done
  • Complaint/“Honest Talk”: sharing your hurts, fears, struggle, etc.
  • Supplication: asking God to supply our needs (spiritual, physical)
    • ____________________: focused on our own needs
    • ____________________: focused on others’ needs

Tips for Praying and Prayer Lists

  1. Choose the right _____________________.
  • Have a consecrated time for prayer.
  • Have a consecrated place for prayer.
  • Keep yourself free from distractions.
  1. Keep it fresh.
  • Pray Scripture.
  • Combine prayer with __________.
  • Use written prayers.
  1. Avoid “ATM praying”.
  • Be intentional in shifting your focus onto God.
  • Set up some “rules” for yourself in prayer.
  • Set aside a period of time to “fast” from requests.
  1. Be __________________ and focused.
  • Have a “to do list” while praying to jot down items for later.
  • Use a prayer list.
    • Pray ______________, not wider.
    • Do not feel the burden to pray for everyone.
    • Organize your prayer list into manageable units.
    • Update your prayer list regularly.
  • Use a prayer journal to write prayers and track praises.
  • Use prayer _______________ for important issues.


The following answers appear in order of the blanks in the notes above.

spiritual growth
taught [and] practiced
glory [of] God
direct address




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