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Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life

4.19  ·  Rating Details ·  5,993 Ratings  ·  218 Reviews
Drawn from a rich heritage, Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life will guide you through a carefully selected array of disciplines including: Scripture reading prayer worship Scripture meditation evangelism serving stewardship of time and money Scripture application fasting silence and solitude journaling learning By illustrating why the disciplines are important, s ...more
ebook, 272 pages
Published November 1st 2009 by NavPress Publishing Group (first published 1991)
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Philip Mcduffie
Christ centered. Biblically saturated. Powerfully convicting. Read this book!
Sep 20, 2015 Barry rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It wasn't until I read Richard Foster's Celebration of Discipline that I could put my finger on my vague dislike of this book: whereas Mr. Foster's book is filled with disciplines and they all feel do-able, Mr. Whitney's book is filled with disciplines that feel out of reach. As I calculated the time commitment that Mr. Whitney recommends, it would easily take hours every day to do the disciplines he suggests. That would be a great thing, to have the freedom and flexibility to spend hours everyd ...more
Bambi Moore
Feb 05, 2017 Bambi Moore rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Also read this in 2007. Extremely helpful book with the foundation being 1 Timothy 4:7, "Discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness." Each chapter gives an explanation and Biblical basis for spiritual disciplines such as Bible intake, prayer, meditation, memorization, worship, solitude, journaling (a favorite!), fasting and more. In a generation that thinks discipline is a dirty word and automatically equates "work" to legalism, Don Whitney shows us that the spiritual disciplines are the w ...more
Apr 23, 2008 Stacia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Christians who want to grow more in their spiritual life
Recommended to Stacia by: my church and husband
Shelves: biblical-study
5/08 This is a very good book. Donald Whitney is a good writer and really help brings to mind spiritual disciplines that one might not have thought of as is. However, I do think that this is a book that is better as a reference than a sit down and read it all. I think the best way to approach the book is read about a discipline and really put it into practice and make it a habit, and then read/learn about another discipline. If you try to do it all at once its overwhelming and not helpful.

Oct 05, 2016 Mark rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a great book for all believers at any stage of their life. Lots of helpful advice. I will be referring back to this one quite a bit.
Todd Wilhelm
Mar 17, 2013 Todd Wilhelm rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“Then you read this book, which encourages you to practice all these Spiritual Disciplines. And it makes you feel like a tired, staggering juggler on a highwire, trying to keep a dozen eggs in the air with someone else wanting to throw you a half dozen more.” page 236

Exactly how I felt after reading this book! Much of what was written was basic Christianity 101 - read your bible. pray, etc. It never hurts to review though, and it helped challenge me to renew my efforts and not become slothful. I
Clayton Hutchins
Good fly-over of the disciplines. I think grace should have oriented it more. He revised this to "place more emphasis on the gospel" ( I am glad he realized this drawback and sought to correct it, but I think the revisions in this area often amounted to dropping in a "gospel paragraph" at the beginning or end of some chapters that functions as a momentary qualification of sorts: "Now let's remember the gospel now... Okay, now anyway, as we were saying... ...more
Robin Koshy
May 25, 2015 Robin Koshy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
This is probably the go-to book on the basics of spiritual disciplines (prayer, bible intake, fasting, silence, journaling, etc).. I appreciate how biblically saturated it was, the abundance of Puritan authors for illustrations and many specific applications. I also love his continual emphasis that the disciplines are for godliness and Christlikeness.. God is not against effort, only against earning (Willard). Loved it. So convicted and encouraged.
Donald Linnemeyer
This is another one I didn't find all that helpful on the whole. While it has a good amount of helpful, practical tips on things like bible-reading and prayer, in the end the book always left me feeling either bored or guilty, and I’m still sorting through why. There’s a different tone to it – something colder and less impactful than a writer like Foster or Merton – but I’ve had trouble figuring out if it’s a stylistic difference, or if there’s a more substantial difference in how Whitney frames ...more
J.K. Turner
My Rating –Put it on the List

Level – Not very readable, seems longer than it is

The book is exactly what you think it is based on the title. He jumps straight in with the first chapter explaining what he thinks (based on scripture) the spiritual disciplines are and why they are important. There are 10 disciplines and he devotes two chapters to the first, and then one each to the others - Reading the Bible, Prayer, Worship, Evangelism, Serving, Stewardship, Fasting, Silence and Solitude, Jo
Josh Pannell
The overall premise of this book is good: disciplining yourself for the purpose of godliness. This book does several things well:

First, it functions as a good reference tool.

Second, Whitney's desire for other believers to grow shines brightly through every word of this book.

Third, nothing mentioned in this book is harmful, and all is helpful for Christian growth.

However, the way the premise is worked out in these pages leave much to be desired.

First, the introduction clearly dichotomizes "biblic
Since reading Donald Whitney's book on prayer last fall, I've been wanting to read his earlier book on spiritual disciplines. What I most loved about his book on prayer was that it was passionately practical, extremely straightforward, and ENCOURAGING. It approached the subject of prayer honestly, the fact that most Christians struggle--have struggled, will struggle--with prayer, with the act of daily prayer. It was a book that built-you-up and supported you. It was just a life-changing book. Sp ...more
Milton Quintanilla
So the book begins with a story about a boy who gets visited by an angel who shows the boy who he will be in the future as an excellent guitarist, which will come through practice. This leads Whitney to state that it's the same in the Christian life that we were predestined to be conformed to Christ, but that also comes with discipline.

The book it's centered on 1 Timothy 4:7 " discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness", and that discipline without direction is drudgery.

The book is spilt i
Aug 27, 2016 Dkovlak rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is an excellent book. It is the kind of book that should be read at least annually. It is a good reminder for every Christian to proactively exercise our spiritual disciplines. The author discusses a number of these disciplines. I'm sure others can add more disciplines for improving our spiritual lives.

He emphasized the fact that we must be purposeful in our lives as Christians. If we are undisciplined, we will never become the people that God wants us to be.

We are encouraged, in the Bible,
Sep 04, 2014 Linda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It surprised me that I enjoyed this book so much. The spiritual disciplines are basic, but there is great depth in the explanation for each discipline. I enjoyed the examples taken from journals from a variety of people. Some were well-known to me, others were not.

I would recommend taking it slow and reading one discipline a week if it seems overwhelming. If not, read it straight through. I found it interesting enough to read straight through, but I took notes as I read and shared what I read wi
Rob Ross
Jun 03, 2015 Rob Ross rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent resource for those wanting to grow in Christ. The author clarifies many aspects of Spiritual Disciplines from studying scripture to being a lifelong learner. He also includes questions and activities to get one started. The only difficulty I had with the book was the length of the chapters. In my opinion they could have been written more concisely. However, I would recommend this book to any disciple of Jesus.
Jun 30, 2009 Nick rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christian-living, own
I started this book a couple of years ago and got sidetracked halfway through. When I picked it back up a few weeks ago, I wondered why it took me so long. This is a great little book to introduce a much overlooked topic in today's church culture. Whitney offers practical advice on how to get started.
Jan 07, 2013 Dmack rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-christian
If you want to be a true follower of Christ and/or are looking for practical ways to follow His word in order to be a stronger more devout Christian than this is a must read. Not only does is clearly and easily go thru what the disciplines are but also gives practical applications on how to involve them in your life.
Ian Wilson
Oct 15, 2013 Ian Wilson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spiritual
This is a MUST read, re-read, and... re-read kind of book! ;)
Jun 17, 2012 Connie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've been reading/studying this for over a year now. Meeting with another monthly and doing the study using the study guide. Very convicting
Warren Moore
I need to post my paper on this book. Great read.
Teri Underwood
Feb 06, 2013 Teri Underwood rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you are looking for a great book to challenge you in the spiritual disciplines without turning the practices into legalism, this is the book you want!
Dec 23, 2016 Tiffany rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the pivotal works on spiritual discipline, a must read. Richard explores twelve disciplines: meditation, prayer, study, worship, silence, solitude, guidance, celebation, confession, simplicity, fasting, and service; and explains how the practice of these disciplines draw us nearer to God. We are put in a position of being better able to hear and discern God's voice, and experience the freedom inherent in the Christian life. Because some of these disciplines have been abused or turned into ...more
Mark Evans
Sep 24, 2016 Mark Evans rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Donald Whitney is professor and associate dean at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky; he has also served extensively in pastoral ministry. (back cover) Whitney has also written several books, all of which concern the Christian life. Unlike many others Whitney did not identify a purpose or goal in writing this book. I will take the liberty to identify what I believe to be his purpose. I believe that he is interested in helping other Christians to become more mature ...more
Jan 07, 2017 Jason rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Originally read this book twenty-two years ago. Looking back through it today made me thankful for its impact on my life.
Crawford Smith
This book is hands down of THE BEST books I've ever read. Donald is gifted by the Lord in his writing to boldly and plainly layout the importance of establishing one's spiritual disciplines and practical examples of what each looks like, all while backing everything up with Scripture. For the believers in Christ I would HIGHLY recommend this book. While the Holy Spirit may use this book to deeply convict you like He did me, the resulting growth in joy in Christ is easily worth it. Especially liv ...more
Aug 31, 2014 Tom rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Christians who want a deeper walk with God
1Timothy 4:7 says that we are to "discipline ourselves for the purpose of Godliness." This book presents 10 disciplines for becoming godly or growing in holiness. I found this book to be very helpful in developing the disciplines necessary to grow a deeper faith in God and have a more intimate relationship with Jesus.

This book provided structure and practical advice for becoming discipline in faith. The disciplines discussed are: Bible reading, Prayer, Worship, Evangelism, Serving, Stewardship,
Jun 07, 2016 Drake rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I picked up this little book for 50 cents at a church garage sale, and it's probably the best 50 cents I've ever spent. There are very few books that I immediately want to read over again as soon as I'm finished with them; still fewer that I would consider a "must-read" for just about any Christian. But Donald Whitney's "Spiritual Disciplines of the Christian Life" lands squarely in both categories. Whitney's book addresses a fundamental question that every Christian must have at the forefront o ...more
Feb 28, 2016 Alex rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness." - 1 Tim. 4:7

"Grace is not opposed to effort. It is opposed to earning." - Dallas Willard

Let me be clear up front: this book is not a legalistic regimen of strict religious routines, and it is not a guide to introspective meditation and mystical spiritual experiences. Rather, it is a survey of the means given to us in the Bible by a gracious God who desires that we grow closer in communion with him throughout this life, becoming more and more li
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  • Disciplines of a Godly Man
  • A Hunger for God
  • A Call to Spiritual Reformation: Priorities from Paul and His Prayers
  • The Practice of Godliness
  • Overcoming Sin & Temptation
  • Tempted and Tried: Temptation and the Triumph of Christ
  • A Quest for Godliness
  • Spiritual Depression: Its Causes and Cure
  • Humility: True Greatness
  • Holiness
  • Lit!: A Christian Guide to Reading Books
  • The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment
  • The Gospel & Personal Evangelism
  • Instruments in the Redeemer's Hands: People in Need of Change Helping People in Need of Change
DON WHITNEY has been Professor of Biblical spirituality and Associate Dean at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY, since 2005. Before that, he held a similar position (the first such position in the six Southern Baptist seminaries) at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City, MO, for 10 years. He is the founder and president of The Center for Biblical Spiritua ...more
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“And in my own pastoral and personal Christian experience, I can say that I’ve never known a man or woman who came to spiritual maturity except through discipline. Godliness comes through discipline.” 4 likes
“Can we expect the flames of our worship of God to burn brightly in public on the Lord’s Day when they barely flicker for Him in secret on other days?” 4 likes
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