5 Steps for (Christian) Meditation
As of writing this, if you Google “meditation,” you will get 525 million hits.
Meditation is found in nearly every religion in the world. It has been around for thousands of years, even though its popularity in the United States is fairly recent.
Meditation, though, is hard to define because the purpose and practice varies so widely.
Mediation based on Eastern religions, such as Hinduism and Buddhism, tend to focus on clearing or emptying the mind through the repetition of a word or phrase, or through movement practices such as yoga. New Age and pop culture meditation practices follow along the same lines.
Because of these links to Eastern faiths, many Christians have shied away from or even condemned the practice of meditation.
But God actually commands us to meditate.
Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do. (Joshua 1:8, NLT)
But is there a difference between Eastern forms of meditation and what God has commanded us to do?
What is Christian meditation?
Christian meditation is different from most other forms of meditation in that the purpose is not to empty the mind, but to fill it with the truth of God’s Word – the Bible.
Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. (Philippians 4:8, NLT)
The purpose of Christian meditation is to listen to the voice of God and to obey the voice of God. The way we listen to and obey the voice of God is by meditating on the Word of God.
How do we do Christian meditation?
The following is a simple process to help you begin the practice of Christian meditation.
Find a Quiet Place - Find a place where you won’t be distracted or interrupted while you meditate. Leave devices in another room.
Pick a Short Passage from the Bible - Start with a short section of 3-5 verses. If you don’t know where to begin, see the list of recommended passages at the end of the process.
Start with Prayer - Ask God to help you focus on His Word. Ask Him to help you understand what you’re reading and how you can apply it to your life.
Read the Passage - Read the passage from the Bible several times. Try reading it slowly, then out loud. Emphasize different words each time and observe how that impacts your understanding of the passage.
Prayerfully Consider What You’ve Read - Talk to God about what you learned in your reading. Talk to Him about anything that came to mind as you meditated on the passage. Ask Him to help you obey His Word.
That’s it! It’s a simple process, but one that will have a profound impact on your life.
Allow yourself time to develop the habit of meditation. You probably won’t meditate for an hour every day. That probably won’t be sustainable. So, don’t set yourself up for disappointment. Start with five minutes and once you are in a consistent rhythm, gradually increase the time.
Remember, the goal is progress, not perfection. If you miss a day, that’s okay. Just pick it back up the next.
For a list of recommended bible packages, click here.