The Art of Meditation

One of our elders prayed on Sunday night that people would be able to anchor their lives in reality. How do we do that in a world of fake news? How do we do that in church when it is so tempting to suspect and think the worst of others? How do we do that in the storms and chaos of life? How do we do that in the face of the devil’s lies?

We consistently talk on about the importance of replacing lies with truth. The simplest way of doing that is found in Psalm 1:2 which says of the righteous or blessed person that

Their delight is in the Law of the Lord, they mediate on it day and night.

We replace lies with truth when we meditate on God’s Word. What does it mean to meditate? Biblical meditation is not about emptying your mind and thinking about nothing. It is about choosing to focus on the truth of Scripture.

Here are some practical ways of doing this.

1.       Read Scripture daily. Read it silently whilst sitting somewhere alone, listen to recordings of it being read aloud. Read it aloud together as a family. Read it antiphonally with another person so that they read one verse and you read the next. Sing songs that are rich in scriptural quotations. Read great sections of Scripture not just one or two verses. Read a whole book (Mark is doable in 1 hour). Plan to read the whole Bible in a year.

2.       Memorise verses or passages.

3.       Look for patterns in the text. This is perhaps easiest with the Psalms with their poetic devices, especially parallelism.

4.       Read one or two verses over and over a few times putting the emphasis in different places

The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want

The Lord is MY shepherd, I shall not want

The Lord is my SHEPHERD, I shall not want

5.       Take time to ponder the ways that Christ fulfilled a Scripture. Then if the Scripture does not explicitly mention him, read it again but this time putting his name into it.

6.       Take time to remember that you are in Christ. Think about what it means for your name to be used in the passage.

7.       Read the passage slowly. Take time to stop and give thanks to God for the truths in the text.

8.       Read the passage as a prayer for someone else you know.

9.       Print the passage our, highlight words and phrases that stand out to you.

10.   Try writing the passage out in your own words.