Meditation for Christians
Should Christians Meditate?
Absolutely! It is not only recommended, but commanded. God has instructed that we meditate on His Word, His Ways and His Goodness - daily. We need to meditate daily so that God's truth becomes buried in our hearts and in our minds. Meditation gives us the opportunity to make sure that our thoughts are diretced by God alone.
Joshua 1:8 (NIV)
Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.
God called for meditation before it was popularized by everyone else
Many Christians assume that mediation is something that non-believers do, and that we shouldn't partake in this kind of activity because our strength comes from God alone. This is half true: Our strength comes from God alone, but meditation is the means by which we plug into God's Will for our lives.
The earliest reference to mediation can be found in the 24th chapter of Genesis (verse 63). Isaac went out to the field to meditate. It was during this time of mediation that he met his wife, Rebekah.
Meditation was therefore practiced by God's people for thousands of years BC. Isaac, the man who fathered Israel, met the wife through which God would raise His favored nation while separating himself for meditation.
Take note that this happened hundreds of years before God would reveal His Law to His people.
Psalm 1:1-3 (NIV)
Blessed is the one
who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
or sit in the company of mockers,
but whose delight is in the law of the Lord,
and who meditates on his law day and night.
That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither—
whatever they do prospers.
Christian meditation is different to worldy mediation
- Others meditate to connect with themselves, while Christians meditate to connect with God. We do not to aim to become one with ourselves, but one with the Spirit.
- Instead of meditating on a key-phrase such as 'I have everything that I need', we meditate on God-focused ideas or verses, such as 'God is everything that I need'.
- We become silent so that God's Word can wash over us.
Mediation in the Bible
You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.
We need to ensure that our minds are steadfast in the trusting of God.
But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
We need to separate ourselves from our day-to-day life and give ourselves over to God regularly.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
Make sure that your mind is filled with the thoughts that God wants you to have. Since we have choice (Love is choice), we need to take time to choose what fills our minds.
Tremble and do not sin; when you are on your beds, search your hearts and be silent.
How much time do you spend searching your own heart - and connecting it to that of God's?
May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.
When you choose to meditate, you gain control of where your mind wonders. When you don't you let it run free without the guidance of the Spirit.
My mouth will speak words of wisdom; the meditation of my heart will give you understanding.
We need to connect with our hearts so that we can bring them to God.
On my bed I remember you; I think of you through the watches of the night.
How much time do you spend thinking about God and His Ways?
May my meditation be pleasing to him, as I rejoice in the LORD.
You please God when you meditate in His Spirit.
I meditate on your precepts and consider your ways.
Let these thoughts become your soul's daily food.
I remember the days of long ago; I meditate on all your works and consider what your hands have done.
Meditate on the good things that God has done for you.
Oh, how I love your law! I meditate on it all day long. Your commands are always with me and make me wiser than my enemies. I have more insight than all my teachers, for I meditate on your statutes.
Meditation will help you to fall in love with God's word. Without meditation, our minds are left to devour whatever we see in the world around us instead.
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is - his good, pleasing and perfect will.
The difference between prayer and mediation
You might think that prayer is the same thing as meditation, or that prayer can substitute for it. This is not true, because meditation has its own function in our lives.
- Prayer involves us talking to God. This includes petitions (ask and you shall revive), thanksgiving, giving praise and handing over our lives into the Hands of the One who holds it all.
- Mediation, on the other hand, is the process where we bury God's truth into our hearts. It is not about me talking to God, but about letting my mind absorb what God has for me.
- Prayer asks for peace. Mediation receives God's peace.
- It is during meditation that we become still and know that God is God (Psalm 46:10)
How to meditate as a Christian
There are a variety of ways that you can do this. Let the spirit lead you to the way that God wants you to connect with Him through one of the following methods:
- Find a verse that you need to bury in your mind. Close your eyes, distance yourself from everything else and focus on the implications of this verse. Ask the Spirit to guide your thoughts as you do so.
- After reading the Bible, take a few minutes to digest what you have read. Think about what God is trying to say to you, how you can implement it in your life right now, how the author or characters were feeling in their specific situations or the severity of the topic you just read about.
- Be still and open yourself up to the leading of the Spirit. Let God lead you wherever God wants to take you. Trust His guidance. It might take some practice for you to settle down enough for God to lead you without interruptions from your own mind. This is a great exercise for faith and trusting in God.
- Determine what you need right now (peace? love? patience? joy? forgiveness?) and meditate on the solution that God has for you. (God has my whole life in His hands, God loves me so much, I just need to walk wherever God leads me, I can do all things through Christ).
We are what we think about. Meditation gives us the opportunity to become who God made us to be: His.
Mediation allows us to set the pace for the rest of our spiritual lives. It is only through the Spirit that we truly come alive!