Simple Spiritual Practices That Help You Actually Live as a Christian

Keith KettenringAncient Paths, Christian Living, Prayer & Fasting, The Uncommon Journey

Less is more when it comes to living an authentic Christian life. I didn’t always believe this. As a person eager to know God better, I grabbed onto anything I thought would help me – journaling, prayer, meditation, contemplation, study, solitude, Lectio Divina, retreats, and more. I read Foster, Willard, Whitney, Nouwen, Rohr, Peterson and lots of others (all very helpful on my journey). I have a book that includes 62 spiritual disciplines available to the eager God-seeker. “Just pick and choose what you think best for you and do it,” I was told. “Put together a spiritual formation plan and follow it. You will surely grow spiritually.” But after many years of growing frustration, I reduced my “spiritual disciplines” to three. These three have been taught by the Church for centuries. These three invite me into mystery, struggle, joy, and intimacy with God.

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These are the three time-honored practices I’ve written about in my last four posts.

1. Prayer – quietly communing with God in your heart and mind

2. Fasting – abstaining from what is good so that something better will result; giving up what is good for the good of others and yourself

3. Almsgiving – offering something valuable for the good of another and yourself; actions and gifts of mercy to help the poor


When you engage in these actions with purpose, meaning, and genuineness, you discover new depths of love and life in your relationship with God, others, and yourself…and, a good dose of humility.

Why? Because…

  • You enter into the bottomless abyss of the mystery of God.
  • You begin to discover how to live in union with the Trinity.
  • You are invited to struggle with your own self/ego and begin to become humble.
  • You are joined to millions who have lived like this for centuries.
  • You are moved to new levels of trust in God.
  • You are invited to move from an intellectual, rational, conceptual approach to God to a living, reasonable, dynamic relationship with God.
  • You begin to be affected by God in your everyday living in real ways.
  • You are enabled to make a genuine impact on the lives of others.
  • You find confidence in living the Christian life.
  • You are able to balance loving God with loving others; “being” and “doing” begin to become one

Isn’t all of this what you really want in your Christian life?

Begin today. Decide on one way to practice each of these. Familiarize yourself with each one in a doable action. Re-read the past three posts for ideas. Allow the Spirit to guide you.

Begin by doing these simple actions. Don’t be satisfied with reading about them.

Less is more. Spiritual is simple.

Share below how it goes for you as you put these practices into practice.

Dr. K