Exploring prayer & spiritual growth
What is Spiritual Growth?
Just as we physically grow through life stages we can also grow spiritually throughout our life.
The spiritual dimension of life is about our inner connection with God, the inner motivations and aspirations that give meaning to our outer activity and ways of being.
Spiritual growth involves a range of things, including:
- the development of our understanding about ourselves and God, that can come from Scripture and learnings about God and human nature.
- the growth in our praying, that can move from words expressed to God, through a whole myriad of ways of prayer to utter silence and stillness in contemplation.
- the growing capacity to recognise and discern God in everyday experiences
- the ability to make courageous choices that we know are invited by God, even though they look mad to the world around us.
- Spiritual growth can come from having a go at something that seems right, and working through the successes and challenges that it brings – all of which can increase our capacity to love, serve and recognise God in our lives.
What is Spirituality?
When Jesus was asked, what is the greatest commandment, his reply was “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind”.
There are many ways of describing Spirituality, but one way of describing Christian Spirituality is this: it is about ‘who am I?’ and the working out of this question in relationship to God, self and others. In other words, it involves how we relate to God and discover our true identity – the person we were created to be, it involves how we relate to ourselves in our inner dialogue and exploration of how we can respond positively and negatively towards the person we were created to be, and it involves how we relate to the world around us – living out ‘who we are’ in very practical and real ways, and at times failing to live this out.
What is Prayer?
Someone once described their prayer as – ‘I sit with God and God sits with me’. Prayer is a relationship with God, that has many ways of expression. It can be about us talking to God, it can be about us listening to God, it can be about us simply being with God, or it can be about us doing things with or for God. All are important and valuable ways of praying – which relate to the different aspects of Spirituality.
Exploring Spiritual Growth, Spirituality and Prayer
There are many ways and opportunities for doing this. Perhaps the one closest to you is your local church. Sunday worship, messy church, church groups or other church based activities offer opportunities for praying, spiritual reflection and learning about what Scripture tells us about God, life and how we live.