Meditation can help you release stress, clear your head, and improve your concentration. And it can also deepen your prayer life. If you feel disconnected to God, or are going through a tough time and wish to tap His wisdom and guidance, then try meditating on Scripture.
Meditating on Scripture is a powerful prayer tool. It allows us to dwell in His word, and open ourselves to His presence and flow of grace. Here are some tips on how to do that.
God wants us to meditate
The Bible itself urges us to meditate regularly. As Joshua 1:8 says, ‘This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success.’
The Bible overflows with life tips: how to deal with other people, how to remain courageous in times of trial, how to use our talents and relate to others in the workplace. But not all these life tips are spelled out. Some are hidden in stories; others require critical reflection so we can see its connection and application to our specific situations. But Joshua 1:8 gives us a glimpse of the reward: meditation, and aligning ourselves to God’s wisdom, paves the way to a richer, fuller and happier life.
Arm yourself with learning tools
Joining Bible discussion groups can help us understand the context of certain scriptures, and allow us to exchange insights with others. You can also get Bible guides or books, that give ‘points of reflection’ or study questions to guide your meditation.
Find a space to meditate
You need a peaceful, quiet place where you can reflect without interruption. You can go to church, or lock yourself in the bedroom. Sit or lie down. It’s important to be comfortable, but not so languid that you fall asleep! Then, relax and clear your mind with deep breathing (you can use these meditation tips).
Focus on a passage
Once you are relaxed, chant or mentally recite a Biblical verse. Use it as Eastern meditation practitioners would use a mantra. It will push out distractions and also make you feel one with God. It will help you focus on one thought or prayer, and ask His guidance on a particular issue. Let this verse be a way for Him to lead you to insights. Ask, ‘What would you like this verse to teach me, Lord?’
You can meditate on a verse for one day, or if you feel that it has personal significance for something you are going through right now, meditate on it for a week. Write down your insights or questions in a prayer journal.
Don’t worry, meditate!
When you worry, you dwell on a negative outcome or a problem. When you meditate, you raise that problem to God and choose to dwell in His wisdom and strength. So when worry creeps in, the best way to distract yourself is to consciously shift your thoughts back to a Biblical verse—even if you’re just
Meditative vs. petitionary prayer
Petitionary prayer asks God for help. Meditative prayer connects and communes with God, opening ourselves to His guidance and will. He may help us (in fact, He really will!) but meditative prayer forces us to stop focusing on what we want, and focusing on Him: getting to know Him, being with Him, and finding nourishment in that presence. As Psalm 104:34 says: ‘May my meditation be pleasing to him, as I rejoice in the Lord.’
Photo from textually.org