What is Christian Meditation?
by Rhonda Jones 6/12/2007 / Christian Living
Christian meditation, often called contemplative prayer, is setting aside time to dwell in silence and solitude and focus entirely on God and his word. Listening to guided meditation or silently repeating a mantra (biblical word, phrase, or scripture) are the most common methods Christians use to meditate today. More and more Christians are turning to Christ-centered meditation as a way to detaching from the world, restore their peace of mind and spend more time in God's presence. The Bible tells us that in God's presence is fullness of joy.
More Reasons to Meditate
There are countless benefits to Christian meditation. I believe the 3 greatest benefits of Christian meditation is that it allows us to spend more quality time with God, teaches us to control our thought life, and helps us maintain our mental health and emotional well-being. I will elaborate one each one below:
Spend More Quality Time with God-
The Psalms 46:10 tells us to be still and know God. In order to know God we need to spend time with him. The more time we spend in God's word and abide in his presence, the more we take on his character and likeness. In Luke 19, when Jesus went to Zaccheaus, the tax collector's home, it is said that Zacchaeus told Jesus as a result of his visit, "if I has wronged or cheated anyone I will repay them back with interest." When we dwell in God's presence we are changed. When Mary and Martha had Jesus over as a dinner guest, Martha became upset because Mary wasn't helping her with the preparations. Jesus told Martha that she had many cares, but that Mary had made the better choice, to dwell at his side, and it would not be taken away from her.
Control Thought Life-
Ephesians Chapter 6 tell us to cast down every fiery dart that exalts itself against the knowledge of God and bring every thought into the obedience of Christ. Meditation helps us to still our minds so that we can observe the subtle or unconscious thoughts that we're thinking. If we are not controlling our thoughts, then our thoughts are controlling us. Many people live unconsciously or by mental default. They have never examined their internal dialogue and live by reaction instead of purposefully. Meditation can help you to observe the mental chatter in your mind so that you can eliminate and replace them with God's word and rise above lower level consciousness.
Promotes Mental Health and Emotional Well-Being-
Just like we rest and cleanse our outer and inner bodies, our minds also need to consistent rest. Without mental rest we become overwhelmed by the worries and the cares of our lives. We need to mentally detox from all the mental clutter, messages, and information we're constantly bombarded with. It is during times of quietness, stillness and reflection that we're in the best position hear and commune with God. During meditation we learn surrender every situation to God. In return, we receive that peace that passes all understanding. We release the stress and many toxic emotions that interfere with our peace of mind.
What Does the Bible Say About Meditation?
Psalms chapter 46:10 tells us to "be still and know that I am God." Joshua chapter 1 verse 8, admonishes us to meditate on God's word day and night. Psalms chapter 4: 4 persuades us, "When you are in your beds, search your hearts and be silent." David desired in Psalms 104: 34, that his "meditations be pleasing to the Lord." Isaiah declared in Chapter 50:4, "He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being taught." Moses spent 40 days on the mountain abiding and learning from God (Exodus 34-35). Paul received revelation and saw visions from heaven (2 Corinthians 12). John wrote visions that are recorded in the book of Revelations.
I believe that is was during times of meditation that the disciples and prophets of old received many of their visions and revelations from God. The Bible says even Jesus spent hours alone with God (Luke 5:16; Mark 1:35). Our greatest inspirations and truths come during times of quietness, stillness, openness, and reflection- all components of meditation.