In a world with constant distractions and clutter, the practice of Christian meditation can have enormous impact on our spiritual lives. In a more and more connected world, we need to learn to disconnect and re-engage with God and His Scriptures.
For many of us, the centre of our prayer life is requests. We go to God to tell Him what we need and tell Him what He should do. Meditation is the practice of listening. Of filling our mind with the things of God, connecting to Him, and just opening us to let Him speak into our life and hear Him.
Unfortunately, meditation has become synonymous with Eastern Religions and New Age spirituality and as a result, many Christian circles no longer practice it. But we see the practice throughout the Scriptures and Christian history.
Christian meditation is the act of filling our minds with something of God. We all meditate in one way or another now – though we often don’t call it meditation, and often it isn’t positive. In such cases, we would call it, “brooding.” We fill our minds with negative thoughts and dwell on them for significant periods of time. “Can you believe what that person at work said? Can you believe what so and so did to me yesterday?” These thoughts fill our minds, and they can significantly affect our day to day lives.
Christian meditation is designed to push out the negative and the clutter, and replace them with Christ and the hope and peace of the Gospel. There is no specific form meditation must take – one person may choose to retreat into the mountains, another reflect while driving, and another watching a busy street. What is more important than how we meditate is what we meditate on.
Meditate on the Scriptures and their teachings:
Psalm 1:2, “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.
Meditate on God’s Deeds:
Psalm 77:12 “I will consider all your works and meditate on all your mighty deeds.”
Too often we spend much of our time dwelling on what we need God to do, or what we hope He will do, and it can be discouraging. But taking time to reflect on the past and what He has done can change our discouragement into celebration. If you read the entirely of Psalm 77, you see this transition take place.
Meditate on God’s Promises:
Psalm 119:148 “My eyes stay open through the watches of the night, that I may meditate on your promises.”
Meditate on God’s Love:
Psalm 48:9 “Within your temple, O God, we meditate on your unfailing love.”
God’s teachings, God’s deeds, God’s promises, and God’s love. Need a starting place that encompasses all of these? Meditate on the cross of Christ. Romans 5:8, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” The cross of Christ is the fulfillment of promise that creates a new promise of salvation and redemption. It is an act of love that comes with it powerful teachings for hope and reconciliation.
What does the cross mean to you in this moment? How would your day be different if you spent time meditating on the cross and carrying the thought of the cross with you? How would your interactions with people be different if between you and each person you saw the cross? How would your perspective in your relationships and the situations of your life change if you had the cross on your mind when thinking about them?
The wonderful truth of the gospel message is that Jesus lives and He is active in this world. Meditating on the things of God is a way for us to open our spirits to His, and look for where He is at work and join Him there.
I encourage you spend some time each day pushing the clutter out of your mind and filling it with the things of God.
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”