What Is A Spiritual Practice?

A couple of months ago I wrote a post on reimagining our spiritual practices.  I wrote that I feel we really limit our understanding of God and faith when we restrict our spiritual practices to prayer and scripture study.  I also said that for me a spiritual practice is any routine I perform on a regular basis that connects me more intimately with God and God’s purposes.  

I thought a lot about this over the weekend as I was conducting a Rhythms of Grace retreat for a local church.  I wondered what would happen in my own life if I reimagined everything I did as an opportunity both to encounter and to represent Christ.  This morning I further reflected: What would happen if every time I got dressed in the morning I reimagined this daily routine in the light of my relationship with Christ?  

I started to think about the people whose lives are interconnected to mine because they produced the raw materials to make my clothes.  I looked at the labels and considered the conditions employees worked in to provide me with clothes.  Some I knew were small children, virtual slaves whose young lives were spent in atrocious conditions in order to provide inexpensive items for me to wear.  I prayed for them and for the organizations that work to abolish this kind of slavery.  I thought about those who transport and sell the garments and how lives have been impacted by the economic downturn.  I prayed for them as well.  By the time I was dressed I felt connected to people all over the world that I had never really thought of or prayed for before and in the process felt I had connect to God and God’s heart for these people in a new way.   

There is another way too that I sometimes connect to God through the process of getting dressed.  Sometimes my thoughts revolve around the spiritual analogy of clothing ourselves with Christ which usually puts me in mind of the following responsive prayer that I wrote a couple of years ago using Patrick’s Breastplate and Ephesians 6.  I know that I have posted this in the past but I have adapted it here so that it revolves around the garments we all wear rather than the armour of Christ that we think of when we read the passage in Ephesians.   I thought that it was very appropriate to use it again here because the Celtic Christians were so good at connecting their prayers to everyday events and giving them spiritual significance.  

We bind unto ourselves today the strong name of the trinity,

By invocation of the same, the Three in One and One in three.

We bind this day to us forever, by power of faith, Christ’s Incarnation;

His baptism in the Jordan River; his death on cross for my salvation;

His bursting from the spiced tomb; His riding up the heavenly way;

his coming at the day of doom; We bind unto ourselves today.

We put on this day the garments of light

We cast off the works of darkness 

We clothe ourselves with Christ


Christ behind us, Christ before us,

Christ beside us, Christ to win us,

Christ to comfort and restore me,

Christ beneath us, Christ above us,

Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,

Christ in hearts of all that love us,

Christ in mouth of friend & stranger 

We wrap ourselves around with the belt of truth

We strap on the shirt of righteousness

We take up the jacket of faith

We shod our feet with the gospel of peace

We place the rings of salvation on our hands

We clothe ourselves with Christ


We bind unto ourselves today, the power of God to hold and lead,

God’s eye to watch, God’s might to stay, God’s ear to harken to our need,

The wisdom of our God to teach, God’s hand to guide, and shield to ward,

The Word of God to give us speech, God’s heavenly host to be our guard. 

Eternal God sheltering us

Christ before us and behind us

Holy Spirit deep within us

We clothe ourselves with your life 


We bind unto ourselves today the strong name of the Trinity,

By invocation of the same, the Three in One, the One in Three.

Of whom all nature hath creation, Eternal God, Spirit, Word;

Praise to the God of our salvation, Salvation is of Christ the Lord.

11 Responses

  1. Wonderful. As Renaissance we have seen that when individuals invest everyday activities with the imagination of the Trinity life itself in all its tasks is transformed. The Catholic tradition is so enriching and wonderful that the evangelical tradition is drawing from this rich reservoir of life.

    • Mike,
      I very much agree with you. I think that our lives need to be reimagined so that every activity is imagined as a revelation of God…. and that really does transform our lives. Many blessing. It was good to see you last week.

  2. I like the idea of connecting God into all the routines of our lives. You’ve encouraged me to do more of it. Thanks

  3. […] it means to be a spiritual person.  It all began when I posted reflections a few months ago on What is a Spiritual Practice? and Reimagining our Spiritual […]

  4. […] Christine Sine at Godspace asked the question “What is a Spiritual Practice?” This and another post “Reimagining our Spiritual Practices” lead to her inviting people to […]

  5. […] What is a Spiritual Practice […]

  6. Hi Christine,
    I’m enjoying your current series. I was wondering if you know of any writing about exercise as a spiritual practice. I’m part of a discipleship group of young mums and we talk about exercise the other day, but without the mention of God! I found this very frustrating as I feel God’s image of us should be talk about as part of this, otherwise you end up with a very worldly view as to why exercise. I have also found that I am able to give my exercise times to God and use them to glorify him. Would be great if I could encourage the others in this.

  7. Sally a great thought. What comes to mind is Andii Bowsher’s book Praying the Pattern about praying the Lord’s Prayer. He dedicates a chapter to talking about “Praying the Lord’s Prayer Bodily” that might have some ideas for you. He blogs at http://nouslife.blogspot.com/

  8. […] reflections, and liturgies on Christine’s Sine’s blog, GodSpace. Her summer blog series “What is a Spiritual Practice?” helps us imagine the breadth of spiritual practices that connect us more deeply to God and his […]

  9. […] reflections, and liturgies on Christine’s Sine’s blog, GodSpace. Her summer blog series “What is a Spiritual Practice?” helps us imagine the breadth of spiritual practices that connect us more deeply to God and his […]

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