Consistent and meaningful time alone with God. One way to experience this is to practice the spiritual disciplines in concert with one another.
Each of the disciplines is absolutely necessary and beneficial to us. However, it turns out that the act of engaging in one singular discipline to the exclusions of the others rarely provides nourishment to our soul or elicits real spiritual growth.
Consider this fact as it applies to the discipline of PRAYER. Author and professor, Dallas Willard, once explained that in order for one to flourish in prayer, they needed to practice it with other disciplines such as solitude and/or fasting.
Praying in concert with any of the other spiritual disciplines then, provides an environment in which we can flourish. It engages us more deeply as we pray, nourishes our soul, and promotes true spiritual growth.
How, then, DO we PRAY IN CONCERT?
PRAY IN CONCERT with Scripture
Praying Scripture not only helps us focus our minds and hearts, it helps us develop and grow in our life of prayer. Another benefit of praying Scripture is that we never have to “search” for what to pray or wonder if our prayers are scriptural.
PRAY IN CONCERT with Fasting
Christian fasting is the voluntary denial of something (meals, desserts, expensive cups of coffee, buying books, social media, etc.) for a specific period of time. Fasting creates space for God, and in that space you can concentrate on prayer and learn to rely more and more on God.
PRAY IN CONCERT with Solitude
And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed. Mark 1:35
Jesus often went “out to a desolate place” to pray. We would do well to follow His example and cultivate the spiritual discipline of solitude – being still before the Lord. As you learn to be still…incorporate the discipline of prayer into that stillness.
PRAY IN CONCERT with a Soul Friend
Jesus modeled and taught both private prayer and corporate prayer. While each is important in the life of a believer, corporate prayer (praying in concert with other believers) creates an atmosphere where it is more difficult for the participants to become distracted. (Read Corporate Prayer: Believers Joining Together in Prayer for a more in-depth look at private and corporate prayer.)
PRAY IN CONCERT with a Journal
Praying with a writing instrument in hand helps to keep one engaged and focused. Try writing out your prayers, Praying in Color, or keeping a prayer journal. In addition to providing focus, PRAYING IN CONCERT with a Journal has the added benefits of helping to structure our prayers while also creating a record of those prayers.