Growing IChrist  1.

By Monk Preston                                                   (Co-Founder & President, The Prayer Foundation )

 
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Image: portion of illuminated manuscript page from "The Book of Kells."Photo of the Oregon Coast by Monk Preston.  Copyright 2002 S.G.P.  All Rights Reserved.

A Handbook On How to Live the Christian Life

Suggestions for the Monks of the Knights of Prayer Monastic Order (and all other Christians!)

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1st Set (Bible and Prayer)

Where To Begin:

     These "Sets" of basic spiritual practice taught in the Bible, are intended to aid in your spiritual growth in Christ, in the Christian faith, and in the ways of God.  I practice them in my own Christian walk. They are recommended for our Knights of Prayer Monks.  We also recommend them for any Christian who chooses to make them a part of his or her own Christian life.  

     These are spiritual disciplines (think disciple and discipleship).  Legalism in the practice of them must be avoided at all costs, for legalism is sin.  The difference between legalism and discipline is that legalism is when you feel that what you are doing is in any way aiding you in earning your Salvation.  This is impossible, for Salvation is the free gift of Christ

("For by grace are ye saved, through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast."  -Ephesians 2:8,9).  

     If you aren't able to do some or all of these things on a particular day, don't be "condemned" about it, and do not try to do twice as much the next day.  Condemnation does not come from God.  Each day is a new day, and we can begin anew. 

"There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus..."  -Romans 8:1.  

"It is of the lord's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.  They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness."  -Lamentations 3:22,23.

 Suggestions For Lifetime Habits!

     Following all of the suggestions below may take as much as an hour and a half per day.  You don't have enough time now!  The time is just going to have to be taken from the four to six hours a day they say that the average person now spends watching television and being on their computer!  No one said spiritual growth comes easy.  Of course, you don't have to do all of them (or any of them; these are just suggestions, remember?).  Realize that they do not have to be all done at once, in one big block of time.  Also, Dr. McGee's half-hour radio program can be taped and played when convenient, perhaps while you are doing the dishes or some other chore.

 Bible Reading: Read one chapter of the Bible per day, beginning with the Gospel of Matthew.  You have just begun a new lifetime habit!

Prayer: Set aside 15 minutes per day for personal time alone with God. You have just begun a second new lifetime habit!

Those interested in joining us in the Apostolic (Book of Acts) and Monastic tradition as we pray three of the traditional Hours of Prayer should take a look at: Daily Prayer: Praying the Hours. This is one of the requirements for Lay Monks.

Memory Verses: Postulant Lay Monks (First Year) (The Basics) Memorize The Lord's Prayer, John 3:16, The 23rd Psalm, and more!  A month by month listing for your first year.  Memorizing God's Word is now your third new lifetime habit!

Recommended Books: Know What You Believe by Paul E. Little.  Reading good Christian books is now your fourth new lifetime habit!  Or if you prefer, you can substitute for your reading, either of the following two books (they can also be used for further reading, if you so desire): Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis, or Basic Christianity by John R. W. Stott.

J. Vernon McGee: Monday - Friday (one-half hour per day) listen to Dr. J. Vernon McGee's Thru The Bible Radio Program.  He teaches through the entire Bible in five years.  This will be your new habit for the next five years! Click on the "J. Vernon McGee" link to learn what station and times the program is on in your area (it is broadcast world-wide in over 80 different languages).

Recommended Movies: Just for fun (not required) watch one of the recommended movies each month.  We watch at least one per week at our weekly "Christian Film Night".  This is a practice that we came up with, and have found to be such a blessing, that we heartily recommend it to everyone!

Recommended Movie:

Brother Sun, Sister Moon (Franco Zefirelli: Early Life of St. Francis)  

We have often told people that if they want to understand our ministry, all they need do is watch this movie, and that no further words are necessary.

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Also See:

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Copyright 2002 S.G.P. All rights reserved.

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Photo: a lone monk of The Prayer Foundation in a wooded area.