Meditation is a life-changing practice that will have long-lasting benefits. Some benefits are:
- Lowering stress levels.
- Improving focus/understanding.
- Managing physical and emotional pain.
- Sleep better.
Today, we hear a lot about "being still" or "be aware of our surrounding". "Meditation" has been adopted by New Age circles and other religions. Within the Christian circles, meditation has been seen in a negative context. However, this is due to a mistaken understanding of what it means to meditate on Scripture. It's important to realize that the Bible has commanded us to meditate on the words of God. In Joshua 1:8:
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.
If you are a Christian looking to learn how to meditate on God's word, look no further. Meditating on Scripture is a form of prayer which allows us to see God's revelations in our life. Biblical meditation is not about striving for "mindlessness" or "detachment from reality", but it's to pay attention to how God's love is a part of our everyday lives.
Brief History of Biblical Meditation
In our guide on What is Christian Meditation, we gave a brief history lesson on Christian meditation:
In the old Testament, there are two Hebrew words for meditation: hāgâ (Hebrew: הגה), which means to sigh, murmur, or meditate and sîḥâ (Hebrew: שיחה), which means to muse or rehearse in one’s mind. The Bible mentions meditate or meditation 23 times, 19 times in the Book of Psalms alone.
The form of Christian meditation that has been used by believers since the 4th century A.D. is called Lectio Divina, which means sacred reading. It has four stages:
- lectio: reading a passage deliberately.
- meditatio: pondering the text.
- oratio: asking God to reveal the truth.
- contemplatio: resting in God’s presence.
Understanding Mindfulness From a Biblical Perspective
We are more disconnected from God than ever before. God is speaking to us all the time. However, we are constantly blocked by worries, distractions, and social media. We care more about what our friends are saying to us than what God is saying to us!
Mindfulness is really challenging in this day and age. As people living in a technology-driven world, we are constantly distracted. We often "future-trip" about what tomorrow holds, even when we have no idea.
In James 4:13-17:
Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.
Mindfulness in the Christian context is to trust God with everything regarding your life. You cannot appreciate the gifts of God if you are caught up in the worries and anxiety. The promise of God lies within the Bible. If you focus on God in your daily life, you will grow closer to God. Listen to God's voice. God speaks to you all the time through the Bible. Start being mindful and open to hearing God through biblical meditation.
5 Steps to Meditate on God's Words as a Christian
In Romans 10:17:
So faith comes from hearing and hearing through the word of Christ.
God has given us the roadmap to spiritual growth. It's as simple as meditating on the Bible day and night. This is the only way of renewing your mind and growing in your relationship with God. God's truth is revealed only to the people who put the focus on God.
Prepare yourself by praying to God in praise and worship. Find a quiet place where you will not be distracted. Turn off all forms of distractions within your presence. Always begin your meditation with prayer requests, such as this:
Through the power of the Holy Spirit, may you reveal the truth of your word to my mind. I want to grow in my walk with you. Your relationship is the most important thing in my life. May I unveil the hidden meaning you have for my life through the words of Scripture.
In the mighty name of Jesus I pray, amen.
To follow through with Christian meditation, you can use these following steps:
Step 1: Read the Bible
Meditation starts and ends with the Bible. In hāgâ, you can speak God's words aloud to yourself. For example, if you are reading 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, speak the words several times, as such:
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Listen to the words. Meditate upon the meaning behind the verse. What is the Holy Spirit trying to draw your attention to today? Take focus and understand that you are paying attention to your connection with God. He is the guide, and He will reveal things to you in due time.
Step 2: Ponder on the words of God
Continue to speak the words or phrase that God has drawn your attention to. Continue to meditate and listen to the words. Continue to ponder and chew on the words until you begin laying hold on the goodness God has in store for you. Don't be afraid to write down what you hear. Taking notes allows you to see it in a different light.
Step 3: Talk to God through prayer, praise, and worship
What would you like to say to God in response to what he revealed to you today? Slowly speak to God. Open up with words that are on your heart. Pray to God. Praise God. Worship God for what He is doing for you today and every day. Thank Him for the revelations He revealed today.
Step 4: Receive from God
Sit in the blessings of God. Let His blessings pour down upon your life. Be willing to open your heart. Receive the love He has set for you. Receive His forgiveness, His mercy, His grace. Let God transform your life. Allow Him to work within you. Let Him build upon your spiritual strength.
Step 5: Act in obedience to what He has revealed
Being in obedience to God is an act of love. It shows to Him that you have received what He has revealed, spoken, or done for you while you were meditating upon His words. Ask Him for help by giving you the power of the Holy Spirit.
You can continue to use these steps over and over again throughout your day. Don't be afraid to read the Bible and reflect on what He's trying to tell you today. Continue to receive from God. He has a plan for your life today and every day.
Meditating on God's word is a simple yet important process that will change every aspect of your life. It's easy to forget to do it when you are overwhelmed by life. But as God's people, we need to continue fixing our eyes upon God's truth. Your relationship with God is the most important relationship in your life. It is even more important than your relationship with your friends or parents. Reading the Bible allows you to hear God's voice, and follow in His words. May you find victory through Jesus Christ today.