The practice of meditation often sounds negative for Christians, because of the habit of meditating in new age, occultism, and other religions. However, Christian meditation is a practice that has been around for centuries and can be a valuable tool for deepening one’s relationship with God. Then…how to meditate as a Christian?
Meditation can be a valuable tool for Christians to deepen their relationship with God, as long as it is practiced in alignment with biblical principles. By meditating on God’s word and presence, we can grow in our understanding and love for Him, and experience greater peace and joy in our daily lives.
In this blog post, we will dive into the idea of meditation as a Christian. We will discuss topics such as: should Christians meditate?; is meditation dangerous?; what does the Bible say about meditation?; is meditation allowed as a Christian?; and Christian meditation for beginners.
We will also see what the Bible and what does Jesus say about meditation. We will also explore the steps of how to meditate as a Christian.
Let’s dive in!
What does the Bible say about meditation?
The Hebrew word for meditation is “hagah.” The meditate definition in Hebrew is to murmur, ponder, or speak under one’s breath. In the Old Testament, the word “hagah” is used to describe meditation as a deliberate, intentional practice of focusing one’s thoughts on God’s Word.
The Bible itself encourages meditation. By meditating on God’s Word, we grow in understanding of the Word and increase our ability to apply it in our lives. Meditation drives away our fears and doubts and the word of God enables us to prosper.
One of the greatest encouragements to meditate is in Joshua 1, verses 8 to 9 (NKJV):
“This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you[a] shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
These verses confirm what meditating is and what the positive results are. It shows that meditating is not just reading, but obeying and practicing what we read as well.
When the Bible mentions meditation, it often mentions obedience in the next breath. This refers to one of the main purposes of reflecting on God’s word: to let our actions be changed by it.
And Psalm 1:2 says,
“But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night.”
And a powerful psalm by King David speaks about the meditation of our hearts. It is a cry to God to let our lives be pleasing to Him, even our words and thoughts.
“May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.”Psalm 19:14 (NLT)
Now, let’s address the question whether Christians should meditate.
Can you meditate in Christianity?
The simple answer to this question is, “Yes!”
Yes, you can meditate in Christianity!
Meditation is mentioned in the Bible, and Christians are allowed to meditate on God and His Word. The Bible encourages us to meditate on God’s word day and night (Joshua 1:8) and to be still and know that He is God (Psalm 46:10). So…is meditation godly? Yes, it is!
And… Jesus Christ meditated. The early church meditated…. Meditation is a Christian tradition.
What makes it acceptable is the primary focus of our meditation: God and His Word. Not meditating on things of the world, on idols, or to empty our minds. Christian meditation involves focusing on God’s word and His presence, instead of emptying one’s mind or chanting mantras.
Meditating on God’s Word is filling our minds with God’s Word and God’s thoughts to replace our own thoughts. Reflecting on the Scriptures enables a deeper communion with God. And these are certainly allowed!
However, some may still have concerns about the safety of meditation. It is important to note that not all forms of meditation are safe or in line with Christian beliefs. As a Christian, it is important to discern which practices align with biblical principles and to avoid any that may lead to spiritual deception. For example, yoga or eastern meditation are not Biblical.
The good news is that reflecting on the Bible isn’t only something for pastors, preachers, those in ministry, or theologians. No. Everyone can meditate on God’s Word. Religious meditation is part of our Christian faith. And we don’t need formal training to meditate on God’s Word. It can simply be part of our everyday life and our daily relationship with God.
Meditation is simply the act of focusing our minds on something, and as Christians, we can focus our minds on God’s Word. It involves reading a passage of the Bible, reflecting on it, and allowing it to sink into our hearts and minds. It’s not about emptying our minds or chanting, but rather filling our minds with God’s truth and allowing it to transform us from the inside out.
Christian meditation is a valuable practice that can deepen our relationship with God and help us gain spiritual growth. It’s not about emptying our minds or practicing new age or occult rituals, but rather focusing our minds on God’s Word and allowing it to transform us from the inside out.
So, find a quiet place, choose a passage from the Bible, and begin meditating on God’s truth today.
What is the Christian way of meditation?
Are meditation and Christianity in conflict? As we just saw, meditating is part of the Christian faith—it’s not a sin. It is important to keep in mind there are different forms of mediation, and most of them are not of God. Such as transcendental meditation (=yoga), mindfulness meditation (=new age), Eastern meditation (=eastern religions), or zen buddhist meditation (=Budism).
The Christian way of meditating is Biblical meditation. Biblical meditation involves focusing on God’s Word and His presence, allowing it to transform our minds and hearts. It is an intentional act of filling our minds with God’s truth and allowing it to guide our thoughts, feelings, and actions.
Christian meditation is a spiritual discipline that involves setting aside time to read and reflect on the Bible, listening to God’s voice, and responding to His leading. It’s about developing a closer relationship with God, learning to trust Him more, and growing in our faith.
Meditating on God’s Word is focusing and ruminating on it to grow spiritually and gain an understanding of His word by reflecting. Scripture meditation (or Word meditation) is repetitiously reading one verse or a portion of a verse: subsequently thinking about it, memorizing it, studying it, comparing it, whispering it in our heads, saying it aloud, writing it down, etc. We could do any of these, but preferably all of them. There is no fixed procedure (though it’s handy to follow a daily pattern).
Christian meditation is a valuable practice that can help us deepen our relationship with God, renew our minds, and grow in our faith. It is not a sin, but rather a great way to focus our minds on God’s Word and allow it to transform us from the inside out. It can be part of our daily life.
So, take some time today to meditate on God’s Word, and allow Him to renew your mind and transform your life.
Does Jesus want us to meditate?
What did Jesus say about meditation? In the New Testament, we see that Lord Jesus Himself often withdrew to a quiet place to pray and meditate. He encouraged his followers to do the same, saying, “When you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen.” (Matthew 6:6)
Jesus Himself is the Word of God (John 1:1,14), and He meditated! He lived the example for us to copy His life. He did not use a Bible as we do. However, He used the scriptures and pointed often to things written in them.
Jesus focused fully on God, day and night. We can say that He meditated on God. He took much time to be in prayer and meditation with God, His father. He knew the Scriptures thoroughly. Christ Jesus placed much value on the Word of God and even said we can live by it.
In order to live by God’s Word, we should know it first. A good way to deeply get to know the Word is by meditating on it.
“But Jesus told him, ‘No! The Scriptures say, People do not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.”Matthew 4:4 (NLT).
Jesus Christ also said we should get to know God more than anything else. One of the ways to do that is by meditating on God’s character, His Word, and His deeds. So, again, we can say Jesus encourages meditation.
“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”Matthew 6:33 (NKJV).
We meditate with our minds and hearts. Jesus understood the important role our minds play in knowing and loving God. He stressed this in what He called ‘the first and greatest commandment’. When we meditate on God, we love Him with our minds.
“Jesus replied, ‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind’.”Matthew 22:37 (NLT).
How do I start Christian meditation?
Christian meditation is allowed—it’s not a sin. Let’s start with this, to clear your consciousness of any guilt!
We can meditate on God, His Word, and His works at any time of the day and at any location. We don’t need to lock ourselves up—though we can create a prayer closet for dedicated time alone with God. We can ponder while doing our chores, while driving, in a waiting room, in the shower, during lunch break, while exercising, etc.
We can put time aside just for meditation, or we can do it while we are busy with other things (not with talking or when we need to pay attention to other things). However, we will get the best results when we can do it with no distractions. Otherwise, our mind wanders.
Christian meditation can be part of our everyday life. It is possible to do it throughout the day, or we select a specific meditation time for it. For example, meditating during our Christian morning routine, first thing before we start anything else lays a good basis for our day.
We can meditate for only a few minutes per day and receive extraordinary benefits for our spiritual, emotional, and mental health.
Forms of Christian meditation
There are various forms of Christian meditation that we can practice.
- One popular form is Lectio Divina, which involves reading a passage of Scripture slowly and meditatively, allowing the words to sink in and speak to us.
- Another form is Centering Prayer, which involves focusing on a word or phrase and repeating it silently to ourselves as a way of quieting our minds and opening ourselves up to God’s presence.
- Breath prayer is another form of Christian meditation, which involves focusing on our breath and repeating a short prayer or phrase as we inhale and exhale. This can help us become more aware of God’s presence in our lives and to deepen our connection with Him.
- Mindful meditation is another form of Christian meditation that involves paying attention to the present moment and becoming more aware of our thoughts and feelings. This can help us let go of negative thoughts and emotions and focus on God’s love and grace. It’s important not to mix this form of meditation with the new age mindfulness meditation.
- Then there is contemplative prayer. What is the contemplative prayer definition? It is a form of Christian meditation that involves being still and silent before God, allowing Him to speak to us in the depths of our hearts. This type of prayer is often referred to as “listening prayer” or “prayer of the heart.” The goal of this type of prayer is to deepen our intimacy with God, to experience His presence more fully, and to hear His voice more clearly.
- And finally, there are guided meditations. These are meditations that are led by someone else, either in person or through audio recordings. Guided meditations can help us focus our minds and connect with God more deeply. Again, provided those are Christian meditations, led by a Christian.
Which Christian form of meditation is best for me?
By taking time to meditate on God’s Word and to be still before Him, you can experience His peace, His joy, and His transforming power in our lives. Everyone has their own preferences. The key is to find a type of meditation that works for you and to make it a regular part of your daily routine.
Whatever form of Christian meditation we choose, it is important to remember that the goal is not to achieve a certain state of mind or to have a certain experience, but simply to open ourselves up to God’s presence and to deepen our relationship with Him.
Christian meditation is a valuable spiritual practice that can help us grow in our faith, deepen our relationship with God, and renew our minds. By taking time to meditate on the Word of God and to focus our minds on His presence, we can experience the inner peace, joy, and love that come from being in a relationship with Him.
So, let us make it a priority to set aside time for Christian meditation each day and allow God to transform our lives from the inside out. When you want to meditate on God’s Word, you need to study His Word for yourself, it is then that His Word speaks to you. You can also use God’s Word to decree and declare.
And if you want to start Christian meditation afresh, here are some steps to follow. This is also a powerful tool for how to meditate on the word of God for beginners.
Steps of how to meditate as a Christian
Here are the 8 steps to build up a daily meditation routine:
First step: set time aside for meditation
It’s important to make meditation a regular part of your routine. Set aside a specific time each day to meditate, even if it’s just for a few minutes. But keep in mind that you can even meditate on the go!
Second step: Find a quiet place
The next step is to choose a quiet place where you won’t be interrupted. This could be a spare room, a quiet corner of your home, or even outside in nature. Again, keep in mind that God isn’t limited to location.
Third step: Relax your body and mind
Put yourself in a comfortable position, take a few deep breaths, and allow your body and mind to relax. Let go of any tension or stress you may be feeling. This is also a good time to pray—pray before you meditate.
Fourth step: Pick a passage of Scripture
You can use any verse and any version of Scripture you like. You may also write the verse and your thoughts about it in a notebook for further reflection or journalize it. Another option is to use a devotional. By using a devotional, you don’t have to select the verse by yourself.
Fifth step: Ponder the Bible verse
Repeat the selected verse of Scripture (or Scriptures) several times in your mind—whisper it or speak it aloud. Brood over it and ask yourself questions:
- “How does it relate to me?”
- “What does this verse tell me about God?”
- “What does this verse tell me about living the Christian life?”
- “How can I apply this scripture?” Etc.
“But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says.”James 1:22 (NLT)
Sixth step: Be open to God’s presence
As you meditate, be open to God’s presence. Allow Him to speak to you through the scripture and through your thoughts and feelings.
Seventh step: Ask the Holy Spirit for clarification
Ask the Holy Spirit to explain the verse to you and to make it clear how it applies to your specific situation. The Holy Spirit will give a fresh understanding of God’s Word. God has promised that The Holy Spirit would assist us and teach us. He will also help us to apply it in our lives.
“But when the Father sends the Advocate as my representative—that is, the Holy Spirit—he will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you.”John 14:26 (NLT)
Final step: Pray about the scripture
We can pray about the scripture, and we can ‘pray-the-scripture’. When we pray God’s Word, for example, in a short meditation prayer, we speak His language. It means talking to Him using His words. There is no right or wrong way to pray God’s Word back to Him. We can pray what is in our hearts and on our minds. God is interested in us personally, not in whether we follow a certain prayer pattern.
Christian meditation can be a powerful tool for deepening your relationship with God and finding inner peace and clarity in your life. With these tips, you can get started on your meditation practice today, even if you are a beginner.
Benefits of meditating on the Word of God
Christian meditation is a perfect way to get to know God more, to build an intimate relationship with Him. Our understanding of His Word increases and so does our love for Him. This empowers our ability to apply the Word to our daily lives. In return, God will drive away our fears and doubts and will prosper us.
When we love the Word of God and meditate on the scriptures in the Bible, God will honor His Word and bless us.
“Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper.”Psalm 1:1-3 (NKJV)
Bible verse about meditation
The Bible is full of references to meditating on God’s Word. There are direct mentions of meditating (23 times in total) and descriptive statements. The references include meditating on God Himself, on His Word, and on His works (His doings).
Bible verses about meditating on God Himself
How do I meditate on God, you may ask? When we meditate on God Himself, we think about who He is, the awesome presence of God, and the splendor of His being. We focus on His character.
The more we think about God, the closer we will get to Him. It works the same as in a normal relationship. If we never think about someone, chances are we hardly connect to that person or even forget about them at all. However, when our focus is on that person and how that person really is, we will get to know him or her better, and this enhances our relationship with that person.
“O God, we meditate on your unfailing love as we worship in your Temple.”Psalm 48:9 (NLT)
“I lie awake thinking of you, meditating on you through the night.”Psalm 63:6 (NLT)
Bible verses about meditating on God’s Word
God wants us to meditate on His Word, so we will learn how to obey Him. As we obey Him, He will bless us with success because we follow His will for our lives.
“Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do.”Joshua 1:8 (NLT)
Most of the Bible verses that contain the word meditate are in the Psalms. Much of Psalm 119 shows us to meditate on God’s Word: God’s precepts, decrees and regulations. Pondering on these gives us peace and comfort.
“I will meditate on Your precepts, and contemplate Your ways. I will delight myself in Your statutes; I will not forget Your word.”Psalm 119:15-16 (NKJV)
“Help me understand the meaning of your commandments, and I will meditate on your wonderful deeds.”Psalm 119:27 (NLT)
“I meditate on your age-old regulations; O Lord, they comfort me.”Psalm 119:52 NLT
Bible verses about meditating on God’s doings
Meditating on His wonderful works will instill awe in us, awe for God’s awesome power, for His marvelous works, and for His dealings with us humans. Again, many Bible verses referring to meditating on His works are in the Psalms.
“I will also meditate on all Your work, and talk of Your deeds.”Psalm 77:12 (NKJV)
“How amazing are the deeds of the Lord! All who delight in him should ponder them. “Psalm 111:2 (NLT)
“I remember the days of old. I ponder all your great works and think about what you have done.”Psalm 143:5 (NLT)
“I will meditate on your majestic, glorious splendor and your wonderful miracles.”Psalm 145:5 (NLT)
Heavenly Father, we stand in awe of who You are and everything You created. We praise Your Holy Name. Teach us, Lord, to recognize You in everything we see and do. Let us feel Your presence daily. Help us to discern how to meditate as a Christian.
Lord God, we thank You for the gift of Your Word. Thank you for revealing Yourself through scriptures and speaking to our hearts through the written Word.
Holy Spirit, help us to understand the scriptures. Show us how to read and apply them. Speak to us through every Bible verse we read and ponder in our minds. Bless us while we go.
Thank You, Lord. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.