Spiritual Practices for “Ordinary” Christians
Welcome to “Spiritual Practices for ‘Ordinary’ Christians,” a free course offered by the Lay Mission Project specifically for the busy layperson. The goal of this course is to introduce certain habits which any person can easily integrate into daily life to strengthen his or her relationship with our Lord. Although geared toward the laity, the spiritual practices offered are useful for clergy and consecrated religious, as well, especially those who have more of an active lifestyle and who are engaged in secular affairs.
Many people regard prayer as petition: asking things of God. Rather, properly speaking, all prayer seeks union with God, and for the Christian, it seeks intimacy with our Lord. The intimacy we seek is powerfully revealed in John’s Gospel when Jesus speaks of it in terms of the vine and the branches:
“Remain in me, as I remain in you. Just as a branch cannot bear fruit on its own unless it remains on the vine, so neither can you unless you remain in me. … If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask for whatever you want and it will be done for you. By this is my Father glorified, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples. As the Father loves me, so I also love you. Remain in my love.” (John 15:4, 7-9)
We see that it is intimacy with Jesus that the Father desires, and it precisely this relationship that enables us to ask things of Him.
This course offers practical ways of nurturing your relationship with God through regular spiritual practices that can be integrated into your daily and/or weekly routine. The first two practices are the core spiritual practices recommended by the Lay Mission Project, and participants in the formation curriculum ought to try them out regularly for at least a month before evaluating their impact on their lives (additional practices will be added over time). After watching the video below, reinforce your understanding of the material by completing the course review that follows. You may take the review as many times as you would like. Once you feel that you have a good grasp of the material, continue to the lessons listed below the review in the “Course Content” section.
When finished with the course review, feel free to move on to learn more about the spiritual practices included in this course. Although you may take the lessons in any order, the first two are the practices which the Lay Mission Project considers core to its formation curriculum. Therefore, when considering whether Lay Mission Project is a good fit for you, be sure to have a look at these.