The Biblical Guide to Christian Meditation: Trust God and Live Better


What is Christian meditation? What are the benefits, and how are they tracked? What is the difference between Christian meditation and mindfulness? What are some popular issues addressed by Christian meditation?

These are all valid questions. Our goal with this guide is to tell you everything you need to know to Christian meditation. We'll start from the basics of Christian meditation, and do a deep dive on the how-to.

Christian Meditation

Chapter 1:

What is Biblical Christian meditation?

Biblical meditation impacts our Christian life. Following Christ starts at Scripture reading.

Unlike other forms of meditation, Christian prayer brings us in union with God.

Contemplative prayer, or lectio divina, connect our mind with God's.

In this chapter, we will dive into this meditative practice and learn to grow with Jesus Christ.

What is Biblical Christian meditation?

Christian meditation is an experience and a skill. Christian meditation begins in our prayer life. It is a form of prayer in which a person meditates on the Word of God and reflects on God's revelation in their life. By sitting in peace with God, we are training to be more open and at ease with God's plan. Through the Word of God, we discover greater peace, calm, contentment, and compassion. In doing so, we learn to experience the blessings of the present moment. This is how Christian meditation becomes a powerful part of our spiritual life.

Here are some helpful ways to describe what Christian meditation is not:

  • Christian meditation is not "mindlessness" or "detachment" from reality. It is unlike eastern meditations, or eastern meditation practices. It is not transcendental meditation.

  • Christian meditation is not an escape hatch. It should not be a way to run from your obligations.

  • Christian meditation is not about magically changing into a better person.

  • Christian meditation is not about burning candles, or sitting calmly on a rug. Non-Christian meditation practices will often encourage these practices.

  • Christian meditation does not guarantee contentment or bliss. Bliss can be a side effect, but Christian meditation involves a whole range of feelings.

  • Christian meditation is not contrary to Christian teachings. It is mentioned in the Bible 23 times.

Christian meditation is a statement of faith. It is all about God's will and being in union with God. In the Bible, it states “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.” (Joshua 1:8 NIV). The Bible is the easiest way to meditate on God's will. Biblical meditation allows for us to understand what God is doing in our lives. It is all about paying attention to God's love. The ultimate goal of Christian meditation is to live like Jesus Christ. The practice of meditation should lead to a changed life in the presence of God.

Chapter 2:

Why learn Christian meditation?

Christian teachings talk about the importance of the Scripture reading.

Christian life requires a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

When you are grounded in Jesus Christ, life challenges become smaller when looking at a big God.

In this chapter, you will understand the goal of Christian meditation why you should be meditating on the Word of God.

Why learn Christian meditation?

Life is not easy. Life is not always in our control. What we do have control over is how we react to the things that happen. Everyday we are confronted by life challenges. We are always overloading our days with more and more activities and information 24/7. We see bad things happening all over the world, and things rarely go the way we want it to. It's no wonder more and more people feel stressed, depressed, and anxious. The more we learn to trust God and stay present, the more we are able to access God's peace. Christian meditation can provide peace and comfort regardless of our circumstances. If we point our awareness to God's goodness through the Scriptures, we will lead a changed life.

Awareness of God's grace and mercy help us accept our life circumstances. It allows us to have a healthier perspective on life. We no longer play the victim's narrative. When we are aware of what God does for us, we learn to become compassionate to ourselves and to others. As the Jesus mentions: “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. (2 Corinthians 12:9). We must humble ourselves to hear His will.

For some, the benefits of Christian meditation is life-changing. God's radical love changes people's lives completely. Yet, Christian meditation will feel different for everyone. It will even feel different each day. Consistency is the key. Christian meditation can improve the quality of life for people who commit. Remember, "Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established." (Proverbs 16:3).

People who meditate on the Bible regularly report heightened levels of peace. They have serenity over their lives, and accept their external circumstances. They are also more compassionate towards others. They are less stressed, frustrated, or depressed. People who have difficulty sleeping say they are able to sleep better. People who suffer from anxiety report reduced anxiety. People also describe having better relationships in their lives. According to the Scriptures, the "fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, and faithfulness" (Galatians 5:22). Lean on God in your difficulties, and you will bear His fruit. Have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. The other relationships will follow.

Chapter 3:

Christian meditation vs. mindfulness

Nonchristian meditation has commandeered mindfulness.

However, it is an essential part of Christian prayer time.

Unlike eastern meditation practices, Christian meditation is based in Christian prayer.

In this chapter, you will understand the role of mindfulness when meditating on the Word of God.

Christian meditation vs. mindfulness

Worry is the root of stress and anxiety. It wreaks havoc on our minds and bodies. Worry is the thief that robs us of His peace.

Mindfulness is a form of meditation where the focus is on being present. Mindfulness encourages you not to judge yourself, and to not worry about the past or future. Mindfulness is challenging in our age of distraction. We often "future-trip" over the "what-ifs" of our lives.

In James 4:13, it says "Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” As it is, you boast in your arrogant schemes. All such boasting is evil. If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them."

Being present means trusting Jesus Christ. You cannot live in the present if you worry about the future.

The Bible says we should meditate on the Book of the Law day and night. The basis of Christian meditation is to focus on Scripture and praying on how they apply to our lives. We learn to be silent while listening for God's wisdom.

When God speaks to our hearts, something gets stirred up in our hearts. We learn to recognize His voice, and feel peace in His presence.

Christian meditation is Bible-based. When our foundation is of faith, it provides nourishment to the seed planted in our spirit. God is a Spirit, and we are made in His image and likeness.

"So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them." Genesis 1:27

Chapter 4:

Guided vs. unguided Christian meditation

Following Christ requires commitment to prayer time.

It is important to prioritize the practice of meditation.

There is community for Christian meditation and Bible study you can join today.

In this chapter, you will learn about the difference between guided and unguided Christian meditation.

Guided and unguided Christian meditation

Christian meditation starts and ends with God's word. If you have a Bible, you can get started today. With any new habit, beginners often benefit with the help of a guide - in person or via a recording. Guided Christian meditation provides clear instruction and support for the end-user.

Unguided Christian meditation is a solo focus on God's word. A person can do unguided Christian meditation with a Bible and focus on God's word. Unguided Christian meditation is not easy to do without the proper experience. It's like flying a plane without an instructor.

Guided Christian meditation is like learning to fly with an experienced pilot. They will offer you nuggets of wisdom and encouragement. Some people will need this guidance for a long period of time. Others will go alone after learning the fundamentals.

Here are some great options for guided Christian meditation to get you started:

Search on YouTube or download an app

These guided meditations are the easiest way to go at your own speed. They provide valuable instruction and insights. Digital meditation makes Scripture reading and following Christ easier. It allows you to do it on your schedule.

Join a local church or Christian meditation group

Chances are there is a great church meeting regularly near you. Joining them in Bible study can help you meditate on the Word of God. It will also provide a community for Christian meditation. The body of the Christ is a church. It is a world community for Christians. You are never alone.

Unguided Christian meditation

Try out unguided Christian meditation with our helpful guide below.

Chapter 5:

How do Christians meditate?

Once you have committed to being in the presence of God every day, you will abide to the practice of meditation.

From mental prayer to other meditative practice, Christian meditation is an important part of our prayer life.

In this chapter, you will learn about how Christians meditate on the Word of God.

How do Christians meditate?

Let's put aside all your preconceived notion of meditation and start from scratch. Like prayer, meditation starts with a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Biblical meditation is about quieting our hearts with Scripture. It has been used in monastic tradition since the fourth century. It is commonly referred to as lectio divina, or sacred reading. Biblical meditation is a statement of faith. It lets you have union with God. Grab a Bible and consider these simple ways to get started:

Contemplative Prayer

The key to contemplative prayer is to focus on God's glory. This involves a period of mental prayer based in the Word of God. Building a habit of 10 minutes a day can have significant impact on your day. A Christian's prayer life is important to our welfare. We may encounter life challenges, but we will never be shaken if God is at the center. Breathe in and realize God's goodness in your life. Use this period to listen to what God is saying to you. Open your heart to the Holy Spirit.

Memorizing Verses

God wants us to be close to His word. He wants us to keep it in our hearts. Bible study helps us learn more about God’s nature. In Psalm 119:11, it says "I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you". Being able to recall Scripture is powerful. You can call on it during periods of stress and hardship. Memorizing verses help you commit God's Word to the top of mind. Connect your mind with God's. Know His thoughts through His Word.

Writing in a Journal

Writing down your thoughts can be meditation in itself. It allows you to have a quiet period with God and read the word. By writing down your thoughts on the Scripture, you may uncover God's message in your life. It also helps commit verses to memory. Let the Holy Spirit be your guide.

Be in His Creation

Spend time with God's creation. Take a walk in nature and enjoy a period of prayer time with God. The Bible says God's “invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made” (Romans 1:20). Nature reveals God in unique ways. From the beauty of a sunset and the bloom of a flower, God is at work. If it's hard to sit still, take a walk. Walking in nature is a meditative practice that calms your busy mind. The Holy Spirit is waiting to talk to you.

Chapter 6:

Christian meditation basics: process

The goal of Christian meditation is to grow our personal relationship with God.

Daily Scripture reading is a form of meditation that focuses on the presence of God.

In this chapter, you will understand the process of Christian meditation.

Christian meditation basics: process

Christian meditation is all about taking time to be with God. Take a deep breathe and feel God's presence in your life. Fill yourself with gratitude towards God for His grace and His mercy in your life. Once you have done this, you are ready to start:

Start with a verse: Choose a Bible verse you want to meditate on. It all starts with the verse. Spend this time in silence as you ponder on the Bible verse. Pray to God to reveal His will for you in this verse. Bask in God's presence as you spend this period with Him. Take deep breaths. Be filled with God's peace. Lean on God and do not be anxious. Share your yolk with Jesus. Let Him be the master of your life.

Commit the verse to your heart: Take a few moments and repeat the verse to yourself. Use God's Word as a shield during the storms of life. Keep it close to your heart so you can draw on it at any moment. In Ephesians 6:11, it says to "Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes."

Pray in gratitude: Thank God for everything He has done for you. Thank God for uncovering something in you today. Be in an attitude of gratitude for what God has done and continues to do for you.

Reflect on the verse: Take a moment to write down your observation and what God's message is for you. Don't try and change what you find. Take a note of it. This way you can always remember where God is taking you in your life.

Take it throughout the day: Let your meditation of God's Word lead to a changed life. No longer be a slave to anxiety or depression. God has broken all the chains. Be compassionate. Be kind. Help your neighbor. Love people. Start bringing God's Kingdom to earth.

Consistency

Christian meditation takes practice. It takes consistency to get good at it. As with anything new, the novelty may fade over time. It's easy to make excuses on why not to do it: you are too busy, too exhausted, too sad, too boring (to name a few).

It's worth noting that Christian meditation takes time to master. It takes patience, consistency, and perseverance. It takes effort to build a more intimate relationship with God. In John 10:27, Jesus says "My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me." Learn to follow God with your actions. The Gospel is worth it. God's reward is beyond this world.

Here are some tips to stay on course:

  • Be curious: Christian meditation is all about God. Be curious in what He is saying to you. Deepen your relationship with Him.

  • Keep an open mind: Don't let your preconceived notion ruin your experience.

  • Be patient: Christian meditation is a life-long journey. The more you practice, the better you become. This will help you to become more consistent.

Chapter 7:

Health benefits of Christian meditation

Christian meditation comes with an assortment of health benefits.

When you connect your mind with God's you will find yourself at peace.

It's a peace that is beyond this world.

In this chapter, you will learn about the health benefits of Christian meditation.

Health benefits of Christian meditation

Through a MRI, we can observe what meditation actually does in the brain. Brain scans of people who meditated consistently for years showed increaed gray-matter density in the hippocampus. This is the area important for learning, memory, self-awareness, and compassion. We can also observe a decreased density in the amygdala (which processes fear, anxiety, and stress).

In general, our brains interpret the world through the medial prefrontal cortex. This is also known as the "me center". This part of the brain plays a big role in regulating anxiety and safety. Meditation decreases the neural connections to the "me center". When your brain is less focused on yourself, you feel less anxious and fearful.

In short, mindfulness meditation builds new positive neural pathways while decreasing negative pathways. Meditation can actually result in rewiring the brain for the better.

Christian meditation for managing stress, anxiety, sleep, or depression

Stress

Stress is common in today's world. Stress can come from anything ranging from traffic, work, to relationships. This is why Christian meditation is the perfect antidote for today's world.

Chronic stress is a key culprit behind a plethora of mental and physical health issues. It is important to deal with it before it gets worse. People who experience stress may discover huge benefits from Christian meditation. Studies found evidence that mindfulness meditation eased symptoms of depression, anxiety, and pain related to stress.

Learning Christian meditation helps you handle the stress of the world. It helps you not panic when things don't go your way. It reduces the amount of stress we put on ourselves to perform. We learn to lean on Jesus when we encounter hardships. We learn to change how we react to our circumstances.

Anxiety

Harvard Medical School did a study in 2014 on mindfulness-based stress reduction. They discovered that it reduced the symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder.

Learn how to lean on God to be a warrior, not a worrier. Biblical meditation helps you to live in the present. Every moment is a gift from God. It's important to enjoy them.

Sleep

Meditation can improve sleep quality for people with insomnia. Christian meditation evokes a relaxation response in your body during the day. This helps make it easier to fall asleep at night. The goal of Christian meditation is to create a reflex of peace in your life.

One of the major causes of insomnia is a high-level of stress. Some nights, you may feel exhausted but your mind keeps racing. You are unable to come down from a state of heightened alert. Through meditation, people reported improved sleep quality.

Let go of the racing thoughts of your mind. Let God give you peace. Focus on the Scripture. God's promises live there.

Depression

300 million people experience depression worldwide. Depression manifests other ailments, such as insomnia or lack of focus. Depression symptoms differ for individuals. Studies have shown significant improvements from meditation.

Multiple studies have found internet-based mindfulness programs drastically lowered stress, anxiety, and depression. Guided meditation performed better than unguided, in most cases.

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