Are you afraid that if you start your own Christian meditation practice, it won’t or you won’t be considered Christian? In this article, I will explain why Christian meditation is biblical and the numerous benefits you can receive from starting your journey today!
Christian Meditation in The Bible
Christians have many concerns pertaining to meditation, but by far the biggest one is their fear that meditation is in and of itself an un-Christian activity. Mainstream stereotypes surrounding meditation suggest that it’s a Buddhist, pagan, and Earth-worshiping activity. This couldn’t be further from the truth– in fact, Christian meditation is heavily grounded in the Bible.
Psalm 19:14 is one of my favorite examples of how to use meditation to honor God, it reads, “May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock and Redeemer.”
I believe that Christians who are opposed to Christ-centered meditation don’t really understand the practice and its benefits. They fail to acknowledge that meditating on Christ is encouraged in the Bible.
Read the following scriptures:
- Psalms chapter 46:10 tells us to be still and know that I am God.
- If I’m sleepless at midnight, I spend the hours in grateful meditation.- Psalms 63:6
- I’ll ponder all the things you’ve accomplished, and give a long, loving look at your acts.- Psalms 77:12
- Joshua chapter 1 verse 8, admonishes us to meditate on God’s word day and night.
- Psalms chapter 4: 4 persuades us, ”When you are in your beds, search your hearts and be silent.
- David desired in Psalms 104: 34, that his meditations be pleasing to the Lord.
- Isaiah declared in Chapter 50:4, “He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being taught.
- Moses spent 40 days on the mountain abiding and learning from God (Exodus 34-35).
- Paul received revelation and saw visions from heaven (2 Corinthians 12).
- John wrote visions that are recorded in the book of Revelations.
- The Bible says even Jesus spent hours alone with God (Luke 5:16; Mark 1:35).
Mental Intervention System
The truth is that all people meditate. The question we need to ponder is whether what we meditate on is pleasing to God. Are the majority of our thoughts faith-filled, uplifting, and edifying as stated in Philippians 4:8 that declares, “whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.”
The practice of meditation is a tool we can use as a mental intervention system to help us make conscious choices when it comes to what we think about (or meditate on) instead of the other way around. People who are reactive and impetuous are generally ruled by their thoughts and emotions without much contemplation or reflection in between. In fact, they might not even know where their thoughts begin and their thoughts end, yet it’s often hard to detect, there are very real distinctions between the two.
Through meditation we become a mindful observer of our thoughts, sometimes referred to as mindfulness. This mindfulness also includes a detached awareness. We see the thoughts but then we choose how we will react, or better yet, respond to them – with love, judgement, non-judgement, curiosity, intolerance, impatience, peace, anger, pain, or acceptance. In other words, we can take back the control.
If we are to bring “every thought captive to Christ” we must first recognize the thoughts that we have. We all have mental blind spots or ways of thinking that are contrary to God’s word and character. Often, we don’t even recognize these reoccurring mind patterns until God or someone else brings them to our attention.
Not long ago, Yeshua shined a great light on one aspect of my own thought life. One evening, I was attending a Christian concert at a local church. About an hour into the concert I noticed something. Almost every thought I was thinking from the time I arrived was critical or judgmental, “Why is he videoing with his phone instead of worshiping?” “Why do they have all these posters of the pastors on the wall?” “What do you mean you’re famous?” “Well maybe the people would worship like Hillsong Live if you sang like Hillsong Live!” That thought was in response to something the lead singer said. OMG, it was just one after the other then BAM, God opened my eyes to the meditations of my heart and they weren’t pretty at all! I remember saying to myself, “Rhonda, you have a judgmental and critical spirit!” I couldn’t believe it. Even after I noticed it, still random critical thoughts continued to come and now I was telling them to “stop!” Wherever we feed on grows and creates a harvest after it’s kind. The whole thing was very humbling and let me know that we must always be on guard of our hearts and are susceptible to the influence of the evil one, no matter how holy we might think we are!
Becoming Aware of Your Blind Spot
Generally I am really positive or at least I thought I was, but hence, a blind spot. During that time this incident occurred, I had been listening to a lot of teachings that were bringing a lot of scrutiny against the church, and I had allowed these messages to get into my spirit. After repenting to the Lord and asking Him to cleanse my heart, and casting out some demons, a few weeks later the Holy Spirit really revealed to me the root of my criticalness. He let me know that this attitude was really coming from my own deep hurts and insecurities that I had experienced from the church (in general) and other Christians. This was my own way of protecting my heart, but it was a poison to my soul. Once God revealed the meditations of my heart as unholy and unclean, I quickly went into action to purify my heart and mind from all unrighteousness using the very same tools I suggest on this website.
Having a regular meditation practice helped me to observe the thoughts that were holding my heart captive and allowed me to come against them without bringing condemnation on myself. After that evening, I asked the Holy Spirit to “check” me every time I began to entertain these unrighteous thoughts. Then from my favorite devotional, The Imitation of Christ, I began to meditate on one verse from the Voice of Christ section, “If you think yourself good, think others better.” That actually comes right out of scripture (Philippians 2:3) and it became my daily mantra. Healing began to take place as I brought my hurts and feelings of rejection to God and started to look to Him alone for my consolation, validation, and value. Because of this, these spirits had nothing left to attach too and left. However, I will stay on guard against that blind spot in the future for we know the devil is just waiting for an entrance.
The Benefits of Christian Meditation
One of the oldest and most common forms of Christian meditation dates back to at least 400 AD. In this practice, His followers– then Christian monks, but today, anyone– picks a passage from the Bible and reads it closely, consciously, and deliberately. They ponder the passage themselves, then they open up to God; they ask for His guidance and His understanding so that they may live out the Divine Truth presented in the passage.
Meditating on Scripture can help us to “hide God’s Word in our heart, ” that will only strengthens your foundation as a Christian for “faith comes by hearing and hearing the Word of God.” Or, “I have hid your Word in my heart that I might not sin against thee. And then in Psalms1:1-3:
“How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, Nor stand in the path of sinners, Nor sit in the seat of scoffers! But his delight is in the law of the LORD, And in His law he meditates day and night. He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, Which yields its fruit in its season And its leaf does not wither; And in whatever he does, he prospers.”
This means that we, as Christians, should cast out our fear when approaching meditation! Christians have used meditation to strengthen their faith for thousands of years. Meditation is simply the practice of wholly devoting your mind to God’s Presence, His Character, His Glory, and His Word– the practice of engaging with it as a living, breathing entity that has the power to transform your spirit.
Just as you would stay away from particular t.v. shows or types of music, stay away from types of meditation that glorify self, seek spiritual enlightenment, or wisdom apart from the Most High. Honestly, it’s just common sense. Whether you use meditation for spiritual or health-related reasons, you’ll find tremendous benefits that can affect all aspects of your life.
These benefits include:
- Reduces pain and and enhances the body’s immune system
- Reduces feelings of depression, anxiety, anger, and confusion
- Increases blood flow and slows the heart rate
- Provides a sense of peace, calm, and balance
- Helps reverse heart disease
- Helps control thoughts
- Increases energy
- Reduces stress
Want to get started with Christian meditation? Check out my Getting Started with Christian Meditation Page.
Isn't Christian Meditation Mystical?
Despite modern stereotypes, there is nothing mystical about Christian meditation. In fact, the word ‘meditation’ is one that we as Christians should reclaim for Our Lord! In modern times, the practice has been dominated by mystics and those practicing Eastern religions, which has unfortunately resulted in a general aversion to it among Christians. It is truly a lost art among those who share our faith. Because it is so rarely practiced by Christians in the mainstream, many of us cannot imagine how meditation could possibly help strengthen our relationship with God.
In reality, meditation is a generic practice that can take on many forms and methods based on a variety of outcomes. Meditation can also be a religious or a non-religious activity. There are hundreds of meditation techniques depending upon what you’d like to achieve; however, whether you meditate to draw closer to God or to relieve stress, the innate virtues of meditation are life changing, promoting peace of mind, inner calmness, and an expanded awareness of self, the Spirit, and our relationship to the world. What makes one method different from another is the intention behind it. Christian meditation simply means that the focus of your meditation is one that puts God in the center of your practice.
The Myth Behind Evil Spirits
Some Christians fear meditation. They believe that meditation requires them to empty their minds and may open the door to evil spirits entering in. However, Christian Meditation encourages us to meditate on the Lord. During some forms of Christian meditation you silently repeat a scripture or passage or dwell in God’s presence. Christian meditation does encourage you to quiet your mind to create a greater space for God to enter in your life. But what Christians often fail to realize is that the greatest battle to the believer are the thoughts between their ears.
The Bibles tells us over and over to renew our minds. God wants to clear our minds from all types of destructive and limited beliefs so we can fully embrace his word. I personally believe that Christians need to EMPTY their minds from all types of negative thinking, fear, judgments, doubt, and ungodly thoughts. It is more likely the current thoughts that we think will hinder our Christian walk, much more than some outside entity entering in. Many people don’t need an evil spirit taking them over to walk in anger, fear, and worry. We do it everyday already. Therefore, if you want to fear anything, fear the evil and destructive thoughts playing over and over in your mind right now and use Christian meditation to get rid of them once and for all.
How Christian's Should Meditate
Let’s first define what it means to mediate. Dictionary.com synonyms for mediate or meditation include to ponder, to reflect, to ruminate, to contemplate, and to mull over.
If we’re honest, these are things that most people do everyday. The problems is however, that most people meditate, ponder reflect upon, and mull over things that are not conducive to peace, joy, harmony, and God’s spirit.
Unfortunately, Christians are just as guilty as others for allowing negativity, worry, anger, fear, and doubt to rob them of their peace of mind and steal their joy.
God said, “I will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on me.”
In Joshua 1:8, we are told to meditate on God’s word day and night if we want to have success in life.
Therefore, shouldn’t every Christian be a meditating Christian? Even the Bible admonishes us to mediate. I think that the question that remains in the mind of many Christians is “how” are we to meditate? And the answer to that question lies in what you want to achieve from your meditation experience.
2 Corinthians 10:5 tells us to, “Cast down every thought and imagination that exalts itself against the knowledge of God and bring into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” Well as you know that is easier said than done. Many of us are holding unto ungodly mindsets that keep us from experiencing God’s best in our lives.
If you are plagued with worry, fear, and negative thinking, you must learn how to gain control over your mind and thoughts and meditation is one of the best ways to do this. By meditating on a sacred word or a passage of scriptures, you can learn to quiet your thoughts and take authority over and root out destructive thinking. This type of meditation, often referred to as scripture, passage, or mantra meditation can help us learn to train our mind.
Psalms 37:7 tells us to “Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him.” Many Christians have a hard time being still. Busyness has become a cornerstone in American life. They don’t know how to relax or even to dwell in God’s presence without being distracted or their mind wandering all over the place. Again, meditating on the Lord for 30 minutes a day in silence and solitude can help Christians learn how to be still before the Lord. Being still and dwelling in God’s presence allow believers to be enveloped with God’s love and spirit, something many Christians have never experienced before. We can’t dwell in God’s presence and not be changed. Every person who had an encounter with Jesus didn’t leave the same.
The Psalmist said, I have hid God’s word in my heart that I might not sin against him. (Psalms 119:11) Through meditation on God’s word, we go beyond a cursory reading of the scriptures. Instead of grazing lightly over God’s word, through meditation, God’s word is able to deeply penetrate our hearts where it can actually take root and grow a harvest. There is a big difference between reading God’s and mulling over, pondering, reflecting upon, and contemplating it.
One is superficial, the other is transformative. Meditating on God’s word makes it become real to us. We can meditate on God’s word by slowly and methodically reading the scriptures and then reflecting upon how they relate to our current life or situation. Or we can practice scripture or passage meditation, where we slowly and silently repeat a verse or passage of scripture as we sit in God’s presence for a period of 30 minutes. Both methods will change our lives.
I believe there is no greater and more important practice in the life of a Christian than being still before God. Until we separate ourselves unto the Lord and renew our minds, we will always struggle with the pulls and temptations of modern life. Meditation creates a greater space for God to fill our lives with more of him.
I love what the prophet said Isaiah 50:4, “He [God] awakens me morning by morning, awakens my ear to listen like one being taught.” Our fellowship and intimacy with God will always be in direct proportion to the time we abide in Him and subdue our ego- which begins with conquering and renewing our mind.
More Christians Turning to Biblical Meditation
The desire for greater intimacy with God is what led Carmen Goudie to seek out Biblical meditation and relaxation. Carmen is one of a growing number of Christians turning to meditation. “Being a Christian for 22 years, the intimacy was never there until I started meditating,” said Goudie. “Prior to that, I thought or was led to believe that meditation was only for the Eastern culture and Christians were not supposed to meditate.” She believed that by meditating “other spirits lurking in the spiritual realm would somehow attack me, or invade my life,” said Goudie.
Then one morning during an early devotion, she found Psalms 46:10 that encouraged Christians to “be still and know that I am God”. That scripture led Goudie on a search for meditation in the Bible. “I was naïve about how many times the Bible mentioned the word ‘meditate’,” she expressed. After a thorough research of the word, Goudie learned that meditation was simply the practice of quieting her mind and controlling her thoughts. “I thought it would be easy, but found it to be one of the hardest disciplines I had to accomplish,” she expressed.
Carmen and Her Husband Meditate Every Morning
Two years later, Goudie and her husband meditate every morning and formed a weekly Biblical meditation group. “This experience has given us a depth of God’s presence that we have never had in 22 years of being Christians,” shared Goudie. “We are living in complete faith allowing Him to guide us, and have seen his provision in every area of our life.”
Biblical Meditation Restored Lillie’s Peace and Calm
“By the time I was in my forties I was completely exhausted with myself and my life,” said Lillie Sayles. Her family life had begun to unravel and her carnal walk with Christ was the only thing holding her together. “My constant negative thinking began to move to a darker side,” said Sayles. They were coming uncontrollably and she was stressed to the max.
“I noticed people who meditated seemed to be relaxed and confident,” said Sayles. “I wanted what they had, but not at the expense of my faith in Jesus. I began looking on-line to see if a thing called Christian Meditation even existed. She then purchased several guided Biblical meditation Cd’s. After using the Cd’s only one time, Sayles stated that she felt so calm and relaxed and has since shared the Cd’s with her family. “I have seen a remarkable change in our home,” she expressed gratefully.
Sue Uses Biblical Meditation to Manage Her Chronic Pain
Sue DeVecka suffers from fibromyalgia, chronic myofascial pain, osteoarthritis, IBS, and asthma, all of which get much worse during times of stress. She developed an interest in Christian meditation after working with a Christian psychologist who used hypnotherapy with Christian imagery to help her cope with the pain. Later she developed her own meditations by putting on a CD of the ocean sounds as she visualized herself on the beach with Christ with his arms stretched to her. “I would breathe in his healing love and breathe out all stress and worry,” said DeVecka.
A search on the internet for “Guided-Christian Meditation” lead her to purchase my Christian meditation CD, “Eliminating Stress and Toxic Emotions.” ”I love the imagery in it and it lowered my stress levels which helped lower my pain levels. I also love the one on the morning meditation (Morning Devotion) with all the positive reinforcements,” declared DeVecka.
Valder Beebe, spiritual host of the Valderbee Show, has been meditating for over 10 years. Beebe says she exclusively uses the Biblical Meditation CD’s, her favorite being Divine Delay. “I have deeply connected with the message and the voice of Rhonda Jones,” expressed Beebe. “I use guided and self inspiration mediation on a daily basis. Mediation relieves the energy built up from life for me,” she said.