Nov 25, 2020 • Written by Rebecca Fulcer
Should Christians Meditate?
Have you ever heard the phrase “meditate on Scripture”? Maybe you’ve had a Pastor preach that we should “meditate on God’s word”.
But wait... isn’t meditation something that belongs to religions like Hinduism and Buddhism? Why then would a Pastor or devotional tell me to meditate?
Yes, religions like Hinduism and Buddhism promote meditation, but it is a very different meditation than what you hear about at a church on Sunday morning.
While some religions promote meditation that empties the mind, focuses on self-discovery and oneness with god, or reaching tranquility, Christian meditation consciously considers God’s Word, leads to awareness of sin, and brings us to our knees in awe of who God is.
The focus of meditation is always rooted in Scripture and produces praise and wonder for God.
Psalm 119:148- “My eyes stay open through the watches of the night, that I may meditate on your promises.”
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.”
Psalm 19:14- "“may these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, LORD”
Psalm 1:1-2- “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.”
How Does Christian Meditation Work?
We see examples in Scripture of meditation, so how can we practice meditation today? There is no bullet point list in Scripture that tells us exactly how to meditate, but meditation must always be rooted in God’s Word. I have personally found the following to be a system that helps me meditate on Scripture:
1. Select a passage of Scripture: I follow The Bible Recap one year through the Bible plan and podcast with Tara-Leigh Cobble. When meditating, I will choose a passage from my daily Bible reading. From there, I will select one or two lines of Scripture to focus on.
2. Cycle through the verse: I will read the verse out loud, write it multiple times in my journal, or pray the verse many times. This helps me to memorize verses and recall them in day-to-day moments.
3. Engage with the verse: I take notes in my journal. Are there questions this verse brings up that I can research in a commentary or study Bible? If you are new to the faith, you might have many questions- that's okay! Check out our resource page for some tools that will help you get started. I also ask if the verse reminds me of different Scripture. For example, if I read Psalm 46:10 which says, “‘Be still, and know that I am God’”, I will take a note that it reminds me of Exodus 14:14 which says, “The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.”
4. Finally, I pray. How should I apply the Scripture I am meditating on? If I have meditated on a verse like Phillipians 4:6 which says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God”, I will make my requests known to God and pray for peace in giving Him control over my circumstances.
Again, this is a personal example of how I use Scripture to meditate. John Piper has also created videos that give examples of how he meditates on God’s Word.
This week is Thanksgiving, and many of us might struggle to remember things to be grateful for in 2020. Rather than giving-in to defeat and disappointment, I urge you to meditate on God’s Word. Spending time in Scripture will produce praise and wonder for who God is, even in difficult circumstances.
As you approach Thanksgiving Thursday, I encourage you to meditate on the following verses about giving God thanks and praise.
-"Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever." 1 Chronicles 16:34
-“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
-“The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him.” Psalm 28:7