Many religions practice meditation, but what a specific religion means by the term “meditation” may be drastically different from another belief system. The meditation practices of New Age and Eastern religions are very different from what the Christian scriptures describe.
The Bible refers to meditating on scripture in many passages. Joshua encouraged the Israelites to meditate on God’s word day and night so they might obey His commands (Joshua 1:8). The psalmist reflected on God’s sacred words extensively in Psalm 119.
How is Christian meditation different from what other religions practice? Christian meditation is not emptying one’s mind of all thoughts, entering a trance, or a positive visualization technique. Christians should not try to raise themselves up to a higher spiritual level or try to “become one” with any “god” or nature.
Christians meditate to renew their minds with God’s truth. Then, the Holy Spirit transforms their character and enables them to live Christ-centered lives.
Christian meditation begins with acknowledging God’s presence.
The Almighty Creator is eternally with us, but we don’t always remember that He is. He exists independently from His creation and yet is present everywhere within the universe. The Holy Spirit lives within us, but this does not make us a “god.”
Suggestion: Begin your time of meditation with a prayer: God of grace, place within my soul a great love for Your Word. Give my mind and heart an understanding of Your Truth.
Christian meditation is focusing our minds on God’s Word.
Choosing to focus our minds on scripture is a proactive decision. Meditation is pondering the verse or passage, perhaps even memorizing it, and then thinking deeply about the truth that it teaches.
Suggestion: Choose a verse or passage from your favorite translation, perhaps from your daily Bible reading. Read slowly, pondering each word while keeping the context in mind. When your mind wanders, and it will, refocus.
Christian meditation includes the intention to obey God’s word in our everyday lives.
Meditation includes the intention to apply God’s truth within our daily lives, while in our homes, among our colleagues at work, and even with strangers we pass in our journey.
Suggestion: Mark the verse in your phone or post a note with the verse where you will see it throughout the day. This practice will help you remember to reflect on it, and the Holy Spirit will bring it to mind when needed.
Christian meditation is praying God’s Word back to Him.
Meditation includes asking our Heavenly Father for the strength, wisdom, and grace to live out what we are reading and learning. When we pray God’s words back to Him, He delights to answer our prayers.
Suggestion: You can pray the thoughts of your Creator during a morning quiet time, while commuting, when taking a quiet walk, while doing chores, and especially while falling asleep at night.
Christian meditation is lifechanging.
Psalm 1:1-3 tells us,
Oh, the joys of those who do not
follow the advice of the wicked,
or stand around with sinners,
or join in with mockers.
But they delight in the law of the LORD,
meditating on it day and night.
They are like trees planted along the riverbank,
bearing fruit each season.
Their leaves never wither,
and they prosper in all they do.
The purpose of Christian meditation is to renew our minds so that we can be transformed into the character of Jesus and reflect His light to the world around us. Meditating on scripture renews our joy, gives us wisdom, and produces spiritual fruit.
As Christians think God’s own thoughts and align their day-to-day lives with His principles, they experience communion with their Heavenly Father. Our Creator pours His grace into our souls, and we find ourselves with renewed strength in the journey to follow in the footsteps of Jesus Christ.
Suggestion: Download the Courage For Life app to listen to God’s Word throughout your day.