Question: What exactly is meditation? Is it something Christians should do or avoid?
Answer: The Bible speaks of meditation as important – even vital – to knowing how God is guiding your life. Here are some examples:
“Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked…But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on His law, he meditates day and night.” Psalm 1:1-2
“Oh, how I love your law! I meditate on it all day long. Your commands make me wiser than my enemies, for they are ever with me. I have more insight than all my teachers, for I meditate on your statutes.” Psalm 119:97-99
“Meditate or think about what is true, good, right, commendable, and lovely. Focus on the good in others. You will realize all you can praise God for and be glad about.” Philippians 4:8
The scriptures show what meditation is, to read God’s words to us and think about how they apply to our own lives. God’s Holy Spirit will bring to your mind the meaning of the verses. The Bible says that reading about God and thinking about Him will “delight” us, will make us so wise that we stand out among others, and will impart insight that is useful to us and those we serve. Meditation usually leads into prayer as you discuss with God the next steps you should take. So, the purpose of meditation is simply to understand God better as a Father and friend and to know what He wants you to do with your life. Meditating about passages in the Bible is how God reveals Himself to you.
Some non-Christian religions or philosophies lead followers to mediate by saying certain words, sometimes repeatedly, intended to empty their minds of thoughts. Christian meditation is unlike that and is thinking about God, praying, and opening your heart to the words in the Bible to know Him better. It will help when you pray to leave your Bible open after you’ve read it, and ask God to help you know its meaning and how it affects you. You don’t have to say the words of your prayers over and over again. God is not like a person who needs to be reminded or convinced to help you!
“Don’t be just like unbelievers in the world but be transformed by allowing God to renew your mind. Then, you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is, His good, pleasing, and perfect will.” Romans 12:2
How can you begin to meditate?
Read the Bible and pray that God will guide your thoughts as you consider how what you have read in God’s word will affect your relationships with family, friends, classmates, and coworkers. What effect will it have on your work, recreation, finances, and your future?
“Think over what I say, for the Lord will grant you understanding in everything.” II Timothy 2:7
“…and Mary pondered at all the things the shepherds had told her, thinking about them in her heart.” Luke 2:18-19
Without prayer for guidance from God, our human thinking leads us to selfishness, foolishness, discouragement, and disillusion. However, God promises when we talk to Him (prayer) and read His guidebook, His Spirit will point out our personal areas of hardness and rebellion. He heals the broken places in our lives and our open emotional wounds. God’s timing is perfect; He waits until we ask and then sends us answers and the peace that we desperately need!
“The angel Gabriel to Daniel: Daniel, I have now come to give you insight and understanding. As soon as you began to pray, an answer was given by God which I have come to tell you, for you are highly esteemed by God.” Daniel 9:1-2, 2-23
What exciting insights will God send to YOU when you think about God, pray to Him, and read His message in the Bible? His plan is to transform your life, BUT He waits until you ask Him. Right now is the perfect time to ask! Have you ever accepted that God sent Jesus Christ to be your Savior, to make you right with God? Jesus revealed that He was the only one, the only “Way, the Truth, and the Life” to reach God and attain His adoption into His family. (John 14:6)
Say this to God:
God, I accept your words in the Bible as holy and true, and I thank you for your Spirit’s role in preserving these scriptures as true and authentic, your guidebook for us over the ages. I accept that Jesus Christ, your Son, came into the world to shed His blood, die on the cross, and be resurrected to take the punishment for my sins so I’ll never be punished. Please forgive me for living my life as though you didn’t exist. I turn away from my old life of sin and unbelief. Show me how to begin anew, trusting in you daily. Teach me to understand you, your plan for my life, and how you want me to maintain communication with you each day. Thank you for hearing my prayer!
“Therefore, if any man is in Christ, he has become a new creation. The old has passed away, and the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation…” 2 Corinthians 2:17-18.