Meditation is the act of clearing one's conscious mind of distractions to focus, to think and to ponder. To meditate using the Bible requires the act of clearing one's consciousness of secular thoughts and focusing on the words of God found within the Bible's passages.
Meditation With the Bible
"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; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success." (Joshua 1:8)
It is not difficult to learn how to meditate using the Bible; in fact, it is very simple. Eastern meditation techniques suggest emptying the mind, while meditating on the Bible requires filling the mind. Selected scriptures are pondered and allowed to fill up all the empty spaces of one's consciousness.
It is through this method that a person may feel oneness with God. The contemplation of the passage may lead the mind to other thoughts, ideas, revelations and synergy. The experience of meditating on the Bible allows a person to place Biblical perspectives on everyday problems, opening her mind to the infinite possibilities presented within.
Seven Steps for Prayerful Meditation
Meditation seeks to create a relaxed state during which a person can attain stress relief. Prayer can provide many similar effects on the physical body. The difference between meditative prayer and petitionary prayer is that meditative prayer puts one into a fully mindful state.
Seven simple steps guide successful meditation using the bible are:
- Place: Choose a quiet place at home, in the car, in church or outside. Find a space that is restful, but not one where a person might go to sleep.
- Position: Assume a comfortable position, either sitting or lying down.
- Prayer: Prayerfully ask God to reveal what you need from the scripture you are meditating on.
- Breathing: A four count is a good way to begin. Inhale for four heartbeats and exhale for four heartbeats.
- Focus: Concentrate on breathing at first, then gradually begin to recite the selected passage from the Bible mentally.
- Reflection: Reflect on the scripture as you recite it, contemplate the scripture and allow it to penetrate your heart.
- Revelation: Allow the Holy Spirit to reveal what God is saying to you in the spirit of truth (John 14:17).
Prayerful meditation provides an opportunity to commune with God.
Stress Relief Through Scripture
Relief from stress is found by dwelling in a mental place where the daily pressures are released into God's keeping. Choose simple passages at first. Short passages are easier to remember, but as one gains confidence in mental recitation, longer passages may be selected.
Here are five simple scriptures that may help you begin your meditations:
- John 14: 1 "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, trust also in me."
- Psalm 16: 8 "I have set the Lord always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken."
- 1 Peter 5: 6, 7 "Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you."
- Deuteronomy 33: 27 "The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms."
- Proverbs 3: 5, 6 "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight."
Resources for Prayerful Meditation
A person may simply choose to meditate on the Bible to feel closer to God rather than to solve an everyday problem. Meditation is akin to prayer in this situation, allowing a person to contemplate the word of God as detailed within the Bible. Whether trying to relax, or exploring the many other benefits of daily scripture reading and meditation, there are a lot of resources available for Christians who strive to meditate on God's word:
- 30 Meditations on Rest: Marilyn Hickey shares her philosophy that "God did not intend for us to operate under conditions of stress and unrest." This book provides scriptures and meditations that focus on the scriptural importance of rest (including rest from worry).
- A Month of Sundays: 31 Mediations on Resting in God: Glenda Mathes encourages fellow Christians to take pause from the frenzy of life with this book of daily devotions. Each devotion includes a recommended scripture reading, a focus verse (or verses), a meditation, and questions designed to stimulate personal reflection.
- Christian Meditation and Relaxation: Rhonda Jones offers a variety of Christian meditation downloads including meditations for those who long for balance in their life and need a little assistance in overcoming stress.
- 7 Minutes to Knowing God: Jeff Ordonez offers guided meditations that include relaxation techniques, biblical affirmations, and a simple visualization of Jesus Christ.
Collections of Scripture for Relaxation
- 25 Encouraging Bible Verses for Stress: Lynn Dove shares her journey into stress management through a beautiful compilation of scriptures to ponder.
- Jolly Notes: These bible verses about resting in God are truly inspirational.
A Renewed Mind
Regular meditation using the Bible is a commitment of time and effort, but the rewards are great. Meditating on the word of God will provide a fresh perspective and release anxieties as you relax in the comfort of His presence and cast your cares upon Him.