I Wish Christmas Lasted More Than One Day
A New Year Prayer For You

Try One of These 50 Spiritual Practices In 2018


Grandma's Special Herbs
cross photo credit: james l w (unsplash.com)

About five years ago, I felt a desire to explore my Christian faith in new ways. This desire came from a culmination of things; I read about new-to-me spiritual disciplines, I learned about new-to-me church services, I was gifted new-to-me spiritual icons. Soon, I couldn’t get enough. I wanted to know how other Christians worshiped Jesus. I began telling you about my discoveries here at Traces of Faith. One of the primary responses I get when I share these stories is

I would like to know more about that or experience that, but it’s so new to me. What if I do it wrong? What if I have to do it alone?


As we look towards 2018, I want to encourage you to try one new-to-you spiritual practice. I’ve found that many churches are willing to give these things a try, so you might not be as alone as you think. Even if your church doesn’t do one of the things on this list that captures your attention, do one new thing. I’ve visited A LOT of churches, and I have not once been bit or asked to leave. 


One. New. Thing.

  1. Look for an ecumenical service in your community (or talk to your pastor about organizing one).
  2. Go to an Ash Wednesday service.
  3. As a family, identify one way you can participate in Lent together.
  4. Bring in Palms for Palm Sunday, and let the children go crazy!
  5. Participate in a Maundy Thursday service.
  6. Attend a Good Friday service.
  7. Find a local Stations of the Cross service.
  8. Attend an Easter Vigil.
  9. Go to an Easter Sunrise service (bonus points if it’s near a cemetery and if the church men cook breakfast afterwards).
  10. Visit an evangelical church for its Easter Sunday service.
  11. Talk to your church about doing believer’s baptism on Easter Sunday.
  12. Participate in a Pentecost Sunday Celebration.
  13. As a family, identify one way you can participate in Advent together.
  14. Take your family to a Christmas Eve service.
  15. If you can find one near you, participate in an Orthodox service during Pascha.
  16. Plan a Passover Seder.
  17. For a week, say the Jewish Shema three times a day.
  18. Read up on other Jewish festivals Jesus likely participated in, and observe these with friends or family.
  19. Pick one Saint Day to celebrate from the traditional church calendar. Might I suggest St. Francis Blessing of the Animals? Or Saint Nicholas Day? Saint Lucia Day?
  20. Incorporate an object into your prayer time.
  21.     Prayer Bench.
  22.     Prayer Rope (using the Jesus Prayer).
  23.     Rosary beads (using the prayers that comprise the Rosary Prayer).
  24.     Light a candle or burn incense.
  25. In a group, pray through a familiar Scripture passage using the Lectio Divina method. Discuss your findings.
  26. Learn a hymn from a different Christian faith tradition.
  27. If you haven’t experienced it, attend an adult baptism.
  28. If you haven’t experienced it, attend an infant baptism.
  29. Take Communion by intinction.
  30. Sit in a circle to partake in the Lord’s Supper.
  31. Take Communion at home as a family or in a small group.
  32. Attend a charismatic service.
  33. Form a group of 4-5 people and do a Bible study together.
  34. Help plan a church potluck or progressive dinner.
  35. Walk the Camino de Santiago. Or trace the paths of Jesus in Israel or Saint Paul in Europe.
  36. Buy a daily devotional book and find a set time each day to read it.
  37. Practice the daily discipline of Praying the Hours.
  38. Study the practice of Contemplative Prayer, and try this spiritual discipline.
  39. Read a book that will expand your faith.
  40.     A Christian from a different nationality.
  41.     A Christian of a different ethnicity.
  42.     A Christian from a different faith tradition/denomination.
  43.     A book on church history.
  44.     Read a book from the Biblical apocrypha.
  45.     Read a book by a recognized Saint.
  46. Attend a children-led service (ie. Stations of the Cross, Christmas Program, Vacation Bible School program, Youth Sunday).
  47. Visit an empty sanctuary for a time of reflection & prayer.
  48. Attend a mid-week prayer church service.
  49. Plan a Holden Evening Prayer service.
  50. Attend an African American church on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

I’m excited to help you on this journey to try one new-to-you spiritual discipline this year. For my email subscribers, I have created a PDF Church & Jewish calendar with the dates you might want to observe. It’s a real time saver! Click here for the printout.


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