How to Meditate Part 2
Last week, I tackled the “Why?” question regarding meditation. This week I would like to focus on the“how to?” aspect of this spiritual discipline. Here are three simple steps in getting started.
Pick the Text
I keep a journal on hand while I read the bible. I make note of the passages that seem to jump off the page at me. Sometimes these texts reveal God in ways I’ve never fully understood. Other times, they detail promises for me to believe or even sin in my life that I need to ditch. I pick passages that are long enough to complete an entire thought but short enough to memorize. Then I go to work in two ways.
Preach the Text
Meditation is mostly about preaching the bible to yourself. I like to memorize the passages I chose for meditation. This may take some time. But it is well worth it. Once I memorize the text, I say it out loud over and over. I emphasize different words as I speak. I search for connections between words and ideas. I sometimes have pause to define the words using a bible dictionary. I engage my head with bible content.
I also want to involve my heart. So I work to gain a “feel” for the passage. God’s greatness revealed stirs awe. His love made known through Jesus gives me joy. His promises fill me with hope. The conviction of sin causes my heart to ache. I allow these feelings to linger.
Lastly, I don’t just want to hear the bible, I want to do it (James 1:22-25). This involves the hands. I write down specific action items that come from preaching the bible to myself. These applications are things that are both practical and measurable. An example would be “I will ask my wife to forgive me for being harsh” or “I will pray that my daughters know how much God loves them”.
Pray the Text
When it comes to understanding and internalizing Scripture, we need help. Through prayer, we ask the Holy Spirit to help us do both. Using the content and the contour of our meditation passage, we share the newly shaped desires of our heart with God.
Meditation is an intimate conversation with God. He speaks to us through His Word. And we respond to him in prayer. And as a result, the relationship grows.