If you want to focus on the wonder of God, gain a fresh perspective on life, calm your spirit and develop your strength, I’ve got a practical plan for you – reclaim the lost art of biblical meditation. Meditation has never been more popular in our culture; but biblical meditation has never been so rare among Christians. I really want to change that. Nothing re-wires our brains like Scripture memory, and nothing heals our minds like biblical meditation.
The Psalmist said, “My eyes stay open through the watches of the night, that I may meditate on Your promises” (Psalm 119:148). The apostle Paul said, “Whatever things are true… noble… just… pure… lovely… meditate on these things” (Philippians 4:8).
Meditation is the habit of pondering and picturing and practicing God’s Word. It’s training our minds to follow the thought patterns of Scripture, just as we’d train a vine to follow a trellis. It’s allowing the mind to chew on and digest portions of Scripture like food. Letting it soak up Bible verses like a field soaks up rain.
There is a Promise to it: If we meditate on God’s Word day and night, we’ll be prosperous and successful in all we do, like thriving trees by the riverside (Joshua 1:8; Psalm 1). We will be blessed in what we do (James 1:25).
There is a Process to it: Biblical meditation brings this kind of blessing because it is the process by which God rebuilds our brains. As we learn to engage in serious biblical meditation, we are made new by the renewing of our minds (Ephesians 4:23; Romans 12:2). We begin looking at things the way God looks at them, which is the essence of wisdom.
There is a Pattern to it: This kind of biblical meditation flows out of a habit of daily Bible reading and study. From our love of Scripture, we learn to take certain promises, passages, and verses into the day or night with us. Perhaps we begin to memorize them. We put our names in certain verses and claim them as our own. We begin to remind ourselves to think about them frequently throughout the day. Psalm 119:97 says, “Oh, how I love your law! I meditate on it all day long.”
My book goes into detail as to the why and how of meditation, and sprinkled throughout the book are practical ideas for weaving this practice into your daily routine, such as:
- Take a Bible walk. Jot down a verse or passage of Scripture, go walking for exercise, and think about what that verse says, what it means, and what it means to you. Think about how you’d teach or preach this verse to others if given the opportunity.
- Slowly read a passage or chapter into the voice recorder on your phone, and then play it back as you ride to work or school. Listen to it several times a day. Soon you’ll be learning it without strenuous memorization.
- Include biblical meditation in your vacation planning. Think ahead to passage you want to ponder while walking on the beach, sitting on the balcony, or resting in the hammock.
- Read the Bible aloud to yourself. Your mind will pay better attention to words read orally and not just silently.
Very often before I preach a sermon, I stretch out in the recliner, close my eyes, and simply ponder the passage I’m going to preach. I let my mind follow the course of my sermon and seek to let its meaning sink as deeply into my soul as possible. Often late a night I awaken and direct my mind to begin quoting a portion of Scripture before fearful thoughts can crowd in and take over.
Reclaiming the Lost Art of Biblical Meditation is a small book at a small price, but it reminds us of a huge habit. Please consider reading this book, giving it to others, and using it for group study (a free downloadable study guide is available). If you clink on the link above, you can also receive some unique free biblical audio meditation guides we have developed. I think you’ll like them.
Let’s take back the “meditation habit” from the world. It belongs to us as the people of God.