Spiritual Disciplines Handbook: Practices That Transform Us, By Adele Ahlberg Calhoun
Spiritual Disciplines Handbook
  • Length: 352 pages
  • Dimensions: 7 × 10 in
  • Published: November 19, 2015
  • Imprint: IVP Formatio
  • Item Code: 4605
  • ISBN: 9780830846054

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The Beloved Handbook for Transformation Through Spiritual Disciplines

Maybe you long for a more intimate prayer life or deeper insight from God's Word but just don't know how to get there. Or maybe you want to learn about new spiritual disciplines like visio divina, unplugging or attentiveness.

In Spiritual Disciplines Handbook Adele Calhoun gives us directions for our continuing journey toward intimacy with Christ. While the word discipline may make us want to run and hide, the author shows how desires and discipline work together to lead us to the transformation we're longing for—the transformation only Christ can bring. Instead of just giving information about spiritual disciplines, this handbook is full of practical, accessible guidance that helps you actually practice them.

With over 80,000 copies in print, this revised edition of a well-loved resource includes:

  • Seventy-five revised and expanded disciplines to transform your spiritual life,
  • Thirteen new disciplines for new readers and those familiar with the text alike, and
  • A new preface by the author.

Mothers, fathers, plumbers, nurses, students—we're all on a journey. And spiritual disciplines are for all of us who desire to know Christ deeply and be like him. Here is direction for our desire, leading us to the ultimate destination: more of Christ himself.

"We are living at a time when the Prostestant church is rediscovering the truth that transformation in Christ occurs through the disciplines of formation. Finally, Adele Calhoun has pulled all of these together into one volume, complete with clear definitions and practices of a variety of ways that God uses to grow our lives. No longer do you have to root through scattered pieces of paper, nor a chapter here and there to get the big picture of the tried and true disciplines. This is one resource you will want to have at your fingertips."

Greg Ogden, executive pastor of discipleship, Christ Church of Oak Brook, and author of Discipleship Essentials and Transforming Discipleship

"I love this book! Adele has provided a treasure trove of spiritual disciplines that will nourish your soul, striking a delicate balance between accessibility and depth that comes from her own faithful practice. Read it, engage the disciplines and allow God to transform you in the deepest levels of your being."

Ruth Haley Barton, cofounder, The Transforming Center, and author of Sacred Rhythms and Life Together in Christ

"I have long profited from Adele Ahlberg Calhoun's gifts in the field of spiritual development, and I am delighted that she has compiled her experience with spiritual disciplines into book form. I highly recommend it and I look forward to using it as a resource at our church."

Dr. Timothy Keller, Redeemer Presbyterian Church, NYC

"A practical guide to a wide range of disciplines from the classical practices of prayer, worship, meditation, and scripture study to more contemporary disciplines such as mentoring, journaling, unplugging, and accountability partners. A readable and accessible introduction to the practice of the spiritual disciplines."

Elizabeth R. Pearson, The Christian Librarian, vol. 52, 2009

"Encourages and challenges individuals with its specificity and personal tone. Welcome by anyone wishing to enhance life through discipline--especially spiritual discipline."

Carolyn Egolf, Congregational Libraries Today, January/February 2007

"For readers seeking to go deeper into the Christian life, or find renewal, or healing, or fresh insight, Calhoun's handbook will be a needed guide. Both the new Christian and the battle-worn veteran will find thoughtful, original paths to improve their walk with God."

Jim Miller, pastor, Vineyard Church, Nacogdoches, Texas, in the Lufkin Daily News, May 5, 2007

"[The book] gives a wide range of practices that can prove helpful for anyone."

Anita Cain, Aspiring Retail, March 2006

"A treasure of tried and true spiritual practices written well enough for everyone from the novice to the master to use."

Publishers Weekly, September 26, 2005 (starred review)

"Spiritual Disciplines Handbook offers a serious and extensive look into developing a variety of spiritual disciplines to help readers draw into a closer relationship with God. . . . Recommended."

Michelle Lovato, CBA Retailers+Resources, December 2015


Preface to the Revised Edition
The Spiritual Disciplines and Desires
Introduction: Discovering Your Desire

Part I: Worship
Holy Communion
Rule for Life
Visio Divina

Part II: Open Myself to God
Practicing the Presence

Part III: Relinquish the False Self
Confession and Self-Examination
Spiritual Direction

Part IV: Share My Life with Others
Accountability Partner
Covenant Group
Face-to-Face Connection
Small Group
Spiritual Friendship

Part V: Hear God?s Word
Bible Study
Lectio Divina/Devotional Reading

Part VI: Incarnate the Love of Christ
Blessing Others/Encouragement
Care of the Earth
Control of the Tongue
Solidarity in Jesus' Sufferings
Truth Telling

Part VII: Pray
Breath Prayer
Centering Prayer
Contemplative Prayer
Conversational Prayer
Fixed-Hour Prayer
Inner-Healing Prayer
Intercessory Prayer
Labyrinth Prayer
Listening Prayer
Liturgical Prayer
Prayer of Lament
Prayer Partners
Praying Scripture
Prayer of Recollection
Prayer Walking
Welcoming Prayer

Appendix 1: Spiritual Growth Planner
Appendix 2: A Series on Spiritual Disciplines for the Congregation
Appendix 3: Suggestions for Spiritual Mentors
Appendix 4: Using the Spiritual Disciplines Handbook with Small Groups
Appendix 5: Names for Worshiping God
Appendix 6: One Anothers
Appendix 7: Postures for Prayer
Appendix 8: Spending Time with God
Appendix 9: Suggestions for Fasting Prayer for the Church
Appendix 10: Seasons, Stages and Ages of Transformation
Index of Spiritual Disciplines


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Adele Ahlberg Calhoun

Adele Ahlberg Calhoun and her husband Doug have served on the pastoral staff of four churches and are currently copastors of spiritual formation at Highrock Covenant Church in Arlington, Massachusetts. As certified Enneagram instructors, they enjoy resourcing spiritual leaders and pastors through spiritual direction and teaching the Enneagram. Adele is the author of Spiritual Disciplines Handbook, Invitations from God, and coauthor of True You.