Every Christian Should Meditate
Meditation: A Definition
Meditation is a mental activity that reduces stress, anxiety, depression, and pain. It brings about peace, calmness, increasing perception, a sharp awareness, and a healthy well being.
"Meditation" comes from the Latin word meditari, which means to concentrate. It has the prefix "medi" which also means to think, ponder, contemplate, and reflect. The word "medicine" has the same prefix. Meditation is good for the mind just as medicine is good for the body.
Every religion has some form of meditation. However, this article focuses only on Christian meditation that is biblically based and prescribed by the scriptures.
Tips About Meditation
The Bible says a lot about meditation, but it does not go into details about how to do it effectively. There are many books and tapes with instructions. It is best to discover your own methods and techniques.
Many experts on the subject suggest meditating 20 minutes at a time at least twice a day. When a person first learns to meditate, he can start off with just five to eight minutes until he gets in the habit of doing it longer and on a more regular basis. People who have been meditating for years do not set a time limit and they do it more often than twice a day. In fact, they have developed a lifestyle of meditating, and they do it throughout the day with no set rules and rigid instructions.
Experts also suggest certain positions or postures. Again, the person who has the habit of meditating doesn't wait to get into a prescribed position to meditate. He can do it at the stoplight, in line at the grocery store, or even when his child is making a home run. None of these should be tempted by the novice.
Meditation is often combined with solitude, stillness and silence, but it doesn't have to be. Some people experience their best time of meditation when they are walking and listening to the sounds of nature. Some have reported that they experience effective meditation while taking a shower or soaking in a tub of soapy water. Many people say they enjoy meditating while washing dishes in the sink with their eyes wide open as they listen to the sound of water.
Some religions suggest holding objects, such as prayer beads while meditating. They also recommend repeating a mantra throughout the meditational period.
When some people get into the habit of meditating, they do it automatically without a lot of rules and guidelines. Once they find what works for them, they continue on that path.
There are some things in common with meditation in all religions. Then there are some things that are unique in most religions. Christian meditation is a form of prayer that is used expressly for the purpose of getting into the presence of God and receiving revelations from Him. It is the deliberate attempt to focus on the life and deeds of Jesus Christ, especially His redemptive work on the cross.
The main purpose of Christian meditation is to silent your own voice and to hear the still small voice of God.
Christian meditation can be summed up in the following ways:
- It is obedient reflection on God's word.
- It is persistent concentration on God's word.
- It is a careful thinking about God's word.
What the Bible Says About Meditating
Iaac went out to the field one evening to meditate, and as he looked up, he saw camels approaching.
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.
But whose delight is in the law of the LORD, and who meditates on his law day and night.
May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.
My mouth will speak words of wisdom; the meditation of my heart will give you understanding.
May my meditation be pleasing to him, as I rejoice in the LORD.
Jesus was with crowds all the time, but He often withdrew to a quiet place to pray and meditate for the purpose of being strengthenen and to hear from His Father. We should do the same.
Just as Jesus received strength and revelations from His Father, we can receive the same benefits when we meditate on God and things relating to Him.