These practices are not “the be all and end all” of what it means to follow Jesus, but they lay a strong foundation of faith and practice through which to grow as a follower of Jesus.
PRAXIS 1: Love
Jesus lived and taught what it meant to love God fully. He taught his followers that loving your neighbour was essential, and that loving your enemy is also vital.
Without love it is impossible to grow in relationship with God and with others. Love is the glue that holds all relationships together and without it life has no real meaning. We love God by surrendering every part of our lives to him – every relationship, good or bad.
PRAXIS 2: Repent & Believe
Repentance follows on from the revelation of God’s love for us. we can only see our need to repent when we see ourselves in light of God’s character.
This includes a change of lifestyle – from our way to Jesus’ way. From sinfulness towards holiness. To do this we need the on-going infilling of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit reveals Jesus to us, as well as revealing the truth of God’s word to our hearts.
PRAXIS 3: Watch & Pray
Jesus modeled prayer more than he taught about it. In the Lord’s Prayer we learn various components about how we should pray. Prayer links us into the will of god and helps us to focus on giving HIM glory for our lives rather than seeking our own gain.
Prayer is more than a ‘religious spiritual’ exercise to be ticked off each day – it is ongoing conversation with God who loves us enough to relate to us through the gift of prayer.
Praxis 4: Break Bread
When we think about breaking Bread we generally think about ‘holy communion’ – a moment in a Church service when remember Jesus’ sacrifice of death on the cross through sharing in a little bread and wine. This is an important practice for the Church and ought to be upheld, although it does often just get left at that. In the New Testament breaking bread had deeper, more intimate implications: Breaking bread was about developing close community with other believers and sharing lives around Christ. This is where discipleship relationships develop and mutual, non-controlled accountability can take place. It is where believers become friends and truly journey together with Christ and each other in fellowship that is based on the death and resurrection of Jesus.
Praxis 5: Faith, not fear
We live in a world full of fear. It is likely that Jesus did too. He saw how fear can cripple our lives and faith. He did not shy away from the issue, in fact numerous times he instructed his followers not to be afraid and to have faith in God.
Fear and faith are polar opposites. Where we are afraid we need to apply faith in God and allow him a welcome into the nitty-gritty of our lives. This is not a one-off event – it is an on-going intentional way of living.
We live and walk by faith by learning and applying God’s word to our hearts and lives – we believe God’s word is a higher authority than anything the world can offer us, so we learn it, believe it, and apply it in faith.
Jesus taught much about how God is generous and loves to meet our needs and the needs of the world, but he did not leave generosity as something to be received – he laid it out as something to be given. Followers of Jesus are to be generous people who are faultless in giving and who love to give to others.
Jesus taught about joyful, humble giving that was done before god in secret rather than in public. Generosity frees us from the evils of putting our security in riches and in the accumulation of stuff. He taught that a simple lifestyle is the best way to keep focused on loving God and loving others.
PRAXIS 7: Make Disciples
Making disciples is the crux of the Seven Praxis Project. We make disciples by helping others to LEARN and APPLY the teachings of Jesus to their own lives.
Jesus told his followers to make disciples. Throughout history followers of Jesus have sought to live and share their faith so that the world might know Jesus’ love. Making disciples is not just for paid clergy – it is the responsibility of every person who calls themselves a Christian.
We are to speak of our faith. we are to live out our faith ptractically. we are to share our faith. The context of making disciples is not a Church building – it is the marketplace; the workplace; the school; college; university; at the pub; over meals.