THE LOST ART OF MEDITATION
What comes to mind when you think of ‘meditation’? If it has something to do with sitting in a monastery (or on a mountain top), bored to death while your mind wonders, then you are pretty typical. We seem to delegate meditation to the great mystics of long ago, to the church fathers who were so spiritual they were more in heaven than on earth anyway. I got quite a surprise recently when I started to study what meditation really is. I found it isn’t that at all.
While the Hebrew root can mean ‘to ponder,’ it can also mean ‘to converse aloud.’ In fact, it is often translated ‘cried out,’ and ‘voiced his complaint.’ Psalm 77 is an example of Asaph meditating out loud. Read it and listen to his meditation. The New Testament equivalent is praying without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17). Meditation, therefore, is speaking and listening to God by expressing what is on your heart and reflecting on what He says to you in the Bible and by the Holy Spirit. It’s like a friendly, after-meal conversation with a good friend when you feel close and aren’t in a hurry to end the connection.
Try talking to God out loud (this works best when you are alone and no one can overhear you!). It is a good discipline to put thoughts into words. We focus better and communicate more precisely. Try praying a Scripture passage. Read it out loud, think about it, read it again, talk to God about it and listen to what His Spirit tells you. Writing down your thoughts in a journal can help add to this experience. Sure, it takes a little more effort – but any good relationship takes effort to grow. The results are definitely worth it!
Psalms 119:97 Oh, how I love your law! I meditate on it all day long.
Psalms 1:1-2 Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night.
1 Thessalonians 5:17 Pray continually;
Philippians 4:6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
When was the last time you had a good, long time of fellowship with God, where you just relaxed and enjoyed His presence?
What is the main obstacle to your having these kinds of refreshing, rejuvenating times with God?
Take a few moments to meditate right now.
Share what God has taught you about meditating by commenting on this blog. We can pass on some of these insights in future blogs.
cto Rev. Dr. JERRY SCHMOYER
Christian Training Organization
(India Outreach, Spiritual Warfare, Family Ministries, Counseling, World View)
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