5 Ways to Engage in Meditation as a Believer

There is a popular old church song that advices Christians to "read your Bible and pray everyday if you want to grow". It is quite old but relevant as it emphasizes on the two basic requirements for growth as a believer.

Meditation for Believers

Meditation takes a process of pondering over what has been read and studied. It is usually specific- based on a part of the whole to bring forth salient points in serenity to the understanding of the meditator. You can say that meditation is the third phase after reading and studying. In the absence of distractions, meditation is successful and in the word of God, it brings to consciousness, the living power of God’s word even to application in practical issues.

Meditation is another requirement for growth as a believer. It entails a deep search of the mind and its components, purging its contents as well as refining the heart process of a man. Meditation can be likened to the regurgitation process in herbivores where they have the ability to chew their food again.

How Can you meditate as a Believer?

It could be difficult to differentiate between meditation and prayer, but one thing is certain - in Scripture (when we read God's word), God speaks to us. In prayer we speak to him. What God says to us determines what we say in response to him. Drawing from these, to meditate, then, is to think deeply about what God has said to us in the Bible and to prepare our minds and hearts for prayer. Scripture is the foundation of our praying; meditation prepares us for it by helping us focus, understand, remember, worship, and apply.

1. Focus

I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways. (Psalm 119:15)

Whether we read the Bible in the morning, at noon, or before bed at night, our schedules and responsibilities tend to assail us with distractions. Distraction is a tool the enemy of our souls uses to take our eyes off Christ and to keep us from hearing God clearly in his Word. Psalm 119 talks about fixing our eyes on God’s ways. As wayward humans with many pursuits, temptations, and people vying for our attention, we are greatly helped by meditation, which leads us to fix our eyes on the Lord and tune out distractions…even if only for five or ten minutes. Focusing on what we are reading in the Bible provides us clarity when we enter into prayer. Every believer must meditate to focus on how God is speaking to you through his living and active Word.

2. Understand

Whenever we meditate on the God's word, we understand how the God of the universe is speaking: about himself, about our world, and about our own hearts. It also opens us to a different and unique way to seek God by understanding His ways and acts. This is why the Psalmist prayed saying “Make me understand the way of your precepts, and I will meditate on your wondrous works. (Psalm 119:27) ” God delights to answer this prayer.

Some questions to ask during meditation include: Why is this passage important? What do I need to know?What does it say about God? What does it say about me? How does this reading point to Jesus?

Meditate to understand what God is communicating to you through his Word.

Read: Forgiveness Flows Freely

3. Remember

I remember the days of old; I meditate on all that you have done; I ponder the work of your hands. (Psalm 143:5)

The whole Bible is one grand story that all the way through points to Jesus Christ. When we meditate on Scripture, we do so to remember all that God has done in his great redemption story and how he sent Christ to save a people from their sin. We ponder the work of God’s hands.

Remembering in meditation may also bring us to ponder all that God has done in our own lives: how he saved us in Christ, what opportunities he is giving us to share the Good News with others, and what we have learned about who God is throughout our days.

Meditate to remember all that God has done through the gospel of grace.

4. Worship

 …but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. (Psalm 1:2)

Once we have meditated to focus, understand, and remember, we will find our hearts inclined to worship! So we pause in meditation to lift our gaze to the excellencies of Jesus Christ, to take our eyes off the world, and to express to him thanksgiving and adoration when we pray. Meditation leads to delight when the Holy Spirit inclines our hearts to understand how glorious our God is.

Because of sin and its effects, there will be times when our hearts do not feel like delighting in the reading of the Bible. During these moments, the temptation is to stop reading, lose focus, and move on to other activities. So meditation is also key to exhorting our hearts to delight in God’s Word, which is necessary for our spiritual strength and joy!

Meditate to worship the God who deserves all our thanks and praise for who he is and what he has done in Christ.

5. Apply

This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. (Joshua 1:8)

Finally, we are better able to understand how to apply God’s Word to our lives when we slow down to meditate on it. In meditating to understand we ask, What do I need to know? Here, in applying what we read, we ask, What do I need to do?

Here’s a brief example. Let’s say you are reading Titus 3:3-4 which says we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, and led astray until the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, and He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy. From this passage, you might be led to confess specific ways you have gone astray or been disobedient; you might praise God for providing his undeserved loving kindness in Christ for you; and you might ask for his help in loving someone who has hurt you with the mercy you’ve received in Christ Jesus.

Our desire in meditation is to “be careful to do according to all that is written” in the Bible. Then, we bring these points of application to God in prayer, asking for spiritual strength to obey, forsake sin, humble ourselves, and walk worthy of our calling in Christ.

Meditate to apply what you have read in the Bible to your daily life and to ask for help in prayer.
Meditate by the Spirit

It is no accident that the Bible often speaks about the value of meditation and its purposeful placement before the act of prayer. Consider that our time in the Word is like running a race: Meditation is the warm-up, and prayer is our sprint to the finish line. We cannot be effectual in our praying apart from engaging in the warm-up of meditation.

So what do we do when meditation seems impossible, when our focus is affected by outside circumstances and our hearts feel dulled to God’s Word?

We ask for and cling to God’s gracious help, poured out through the Holy Spirit, and if we’ve not meditated before today, we realize it is never too late to begin! For it is the Spirit who helps us in our weakness, fixing our eyes on Christ, giving us understanding, bringing to mind God’s wonderful works, filling us with joy, and leading us to walk in the truth. He is our great help and hope that we are never alone when we seek God through meditation, and he effectively prompts us to pray in response.
How else do you find that meditation affects your prayers?
 

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  1. Insightful post. Very helpful and practical too.

    Well done.

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    1. Thank you very much, Debby Osa. I'm glad you found it helpful

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