By Rhonda Jones
As someone who has been teaching and creating Christian meditation resources for the past 10 years, I’ve been exposed to just about every meditation techniques and method available. I have found that there are as many meditation types as they are ailments that they can address with the most prevalent being reducing stress, maintaining peace of mind, inner healing, and drawing closer to God. Establishing a daily Christian meditation practice that you will stick with involves finding a meditation practice and/or method that resonates with you and your individual needs. In contemporary Christian tradition, meditation is not a topic that is readily taught by the church. And although we’ve all heard verses like “meditate on the Lord day and night so that you will gain success in life,” it’s rare that you’ll see any corporate type of meditation happening in most congregations. Yet, incorporating silence, dwelling in God’s presence, and quieting the mind to create a greater capacity to know and experience Yeshua (Jesus’ Hebrew Name) should be the priority of every believer.
If we believe what 1 Corinthians 3:16 tells us, “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?,” then we never need to leave the comfort of ourselves to find the Messiah, and all the noise, sermons, and services we perform in the name of God, won’t get us there. Psalms 46:10 admonishes us to “be STILL and KNOW that I am God!” David said in Psalms 63: 6, “… I remember thee upon my bed, and meditate on thee in the night watches.” It was also Jesus custom to go to a solitary place and wait on the Lord. (Luke 5:16) The most influential disciples in the Bible were those who spent time with God in the stillness and the quiet. It is here that they received revelations and visions that our guiding us today. It is during times of quiet, stillness, and contemplation that we begin to dwell upon the deep things of God and gain greater insight into ourselves. It is also from this place that we are transformed by His Spirit and conformed to His image.
The very first key to creating a daily Christian Meditation practice is to understand the importance of having one! As believers, we are told my God that first and most important commandment is to love the Lord thy God with all your heart, soul, and strength. In fact, in Jeremiah 29:12, the Most High declares “you will seek me and find me when we search for me with all of our hearts.” I would dare to say that many Christians are seeking the Messiah in all the wrong places. That is not to say that the church does not play a huge role in our spiritual and personal development, but our real growth will be in direct portion to our desire to seek after God in the secret place, that place we find from within. (Luke 17:21)
Psalms 23, is a well-known and classic passage that exemplifies what it means to spend that precious time with Christ. When we are being led by God (exemplified in verses 1-3), “He makes us lie down in green pastures, he leads us beside quiet waters, he refreshes our soul.” If we are to build our life on a spiritual foundation, because “God is a spirit” (John 4:24), we must cultivate a spiritual practice that allows us to commune with Him, one-on-one, giving Him access to our minds and hearts, and surrendering to his transforming presence.
Once we have comprehended the necessity of “presenting our bodies as a living sacrifice” by daily surrendering our self-will to His divine will, then the question remains, how do we do this? Knowing how to sit in extended silence or dwell in God’s presence isn’t something readily taught by the church, yet those who seek that deeper relationship yearn for it. I remember the overwhelming love I had for my children as a young mother. There were so many times that I’d grab them and hug them with all of my might with an extreme desire to become one with their spirit. My spirit wanted to merge with them, to share all of my being with them. I think most mothers and maybe even some fathers have experienced this. I share this same feeling with my Creator, the desire to be one with Him in Spirit and truth. God living inside of us is a very real phenomena, as Jesus said in John 14:23, “If a man loves me, he will keep my word. My Father will love him, and we will come to him, and make our home in him.” John 15: 5 expounds, “If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit.” Somewhere along our journey, we must abide in Christ and His Word if we are to reap the benefits of His Kingdom.
If you are a believer, or anyone else for that matter, desiring the deeper things of God, then meditation is a wonderful tool that God has given us to move our head relationship with Creator into one of the heart, so that we not only know of Him but experience Him on an intimate level. Unfortunately semantics often get in the way of this profound practice. Whether you call it being still, contemplation, extended silence, resting in God, centering prayer, relaxed concentration, mindfulness, or dwelling in His presence- all can be defined as a form of meditation, which simply means, from a Biblical perspective, “to be with God,” and from a secular, “to focus one’s thoughts.”
As someone who has a pretty extensive knowledge of meditation, and has a daily practice that I literally can’t live without, I want to share with you my all-time favorite Christian Meditation technique that I call “Becoming a Living Sacrifice Christian Meditation.”
A while back while attending a retreat, I learned a Chakra meditation that focused on opening the 7 energy centers in the body (okay, don’t freak out here.) Even from a scientific point of view, we are made up of energy. I’m sure you’d also agree that negative energy can get trapped inside our body. When it does, it can block the flow of God’s essence (love, joy, peace, light, patience, and truth) from radiating and moving freely through us. In other words, we feel stuck! We’ve all experienced it, especially under stressful situations – tension, anger, tightening up, fear, queasiness, judgment, or uncertainty as bodily manifestations in our head, chest, stomach, hands, and back.
My favorite Christian meditation technique also focuses on our different body parts and bathes them in the breath and God’s Word. As I move slowly and silently through a set of scripturally-based phrases, I focus on the crown (top of the head), the eyes (vision and understanding), the throat (voice/communication), the heart (purity and compassion), the belly button (purpose, fulfillment, and motivation), the pelvis (creativity and desire), and the hips (rooting/grounding). I believe that serving God should be a whole body experience, and my Living Sacrifice Meditation helps me to bring all of myself into alignment with God’s love and light where I can receive comfort, let go of distractions, and begin my day with clarity and freedom.
How to Begin:
- Begin by sitting a quiet area and in a comfortable position. This can be in a chair, upright in your bed, or even on the floor. Make sure you keep your back straight, so no lying down. Hands can be placed in your lap or down your sides.
- Set a timer for the length of the meditation, generally I like to meditate about 20 minutes at each setting. You can also find some meditation music to meditate to if you like. My favorite is “Rest in Him” by Moses on YouTube. This is 20 minutes in length, so when the music ends, I know my time is up. Start the timer or music.
- You can begin by reading Psalms 91 (about entering into God’s secret place), then say a short prayer to consecrate your meditation to the Most High. You might start off by saying, “Heavenly Father, as I enter into meditation, I devote and consecrate this time unto you. Surround me with your love, light, grace, and presence. Everything I do, I do as unto you.”
- Bring your attention to your breath. Begin to slow down and lengthen your breath. You can inhale and exhale to the count of four. If you’d like, silently repeat with each breath, “peace be still,” or chashah (khaw-shaw) which are Hebrew words for “peace be still.” (1 minute)
- Next, begin to relax your body. Start with your feet and work your way up. As you scan your body upward, mentally affirm in rhythm with your breath, “I relax my feet, I relax my legs, I relax my stomach,” and continue until you reach your face. End my saying, “I relax my mind.” (1-2 minutes.)
The Living Sacrifice Christian Meditation:
- Once you feel calm and relaxed, you can start the following meditation. Remember that the words are repeated silently in your mind as you concentrate on each of the body parts. To concentrate, just focus on that area with your mind and your breath.
- You can repeat the words very slowly, one or two words in between the breath or more. I tend to incorporate three breathes for each part of the body. Copy or print the diagram in the article as a helpful visual.
Area of Body Scriptural Phrase(s)
Top of the Head Yeshua (Jesus, Yah, God, Holy Spirit, Messiah, Most High) Reveal Yourself to Me. (Jeremiah 29:13)
Forehead Renew my mind (Romans 12:2)
Eyes Enlighten my eyes (Matthew 6:22)
Throat Tame my tongue (James 3: 1-12)
Heart Purify my heart (James 4:8)
Stomach Satisfy my desires (Psalms 37:4)
Pelvis/Sacrum Turn my affections towards you (Luke 10:27)
Hips/Behind Ground me in your love, wisdom, and truth (James 1:5; John 8:32; 1 Corinthians 13)
Selah, Selah, Selah! (exclamation)
Repeat until music ends or timer goes off. Generally, I repeat it three times within the 20 minute session.
When you repeat the 2nd and 3rd time, you can replace the first scriptural phrase (top of head) with Holy Spirit, Father God, or another aspect of the Most High. Sometimes I will address all three of the Godhead: Yah (the Father), Yeshua (the son), and Ruach (the Holy Spirit).
- Close the meditation with a brief prayer. For example, Thank you Yeshua for your abiding presence. Help me to walk in your love and light throughout the rest of my day. Amen.
As you get more comfortable with the meditation, you can expound upon it. For example, each time I address Yah, Yeshua, or the Holy Spirit, I give glory to their names. For example, as I focus my mind and breath on the “top of my head,” I will silently express, “Yeshua, son of Yah, King of King and Lord or lords, Savior, Companion, and Friend, the Word Made Flesh….Reveal Yourself to Me. And then complete the remainder of the meditation.
For Yah (God) I might say, Abba Father, Creator of the man and the universe, Immanuel, Elohim, and El Shaddai whose banner over me is love, mighty and powerful, full of love and mercy…Reveal Yourself to Me…
For the Holy Spirit I might say, “Ruach, Holy Spirit, comforter, teacher, convicter of hearts and guide of all truth, Reveal Yourself to Me…”
For the first time around, say the meditation phrases as above giving yourself as a Living Sacrifice unto God.
Second time around, think of one person you know who you’d like to say the meditation for. It can be a family member, co-worker, or a friend. Sit silently for a few moments for someone to come to your mind or ask the Holy Spirit you who should choose.
Third time around, think of a stranger or even a group to meditate on while you declare the phrases of becoming a living sacrifice meditation. It can be your church, a public figure, a nation or country, someone new you met recently or even a stranger you saw on the street. Sit silently for a few moments for someone to come to your mind or ask the Holy Spirit you who should choose.
Consistency is Key…Do the following meditation for at least 3o days. If you are like me, your day will feel incompletely without spending some time fellowshipping and abiding in Yah’s presence. For me, it is a daily sacrifice of myself that brings so many benefits: peace of mind, clarity of thoughts, sensitivity to God’s spirit, and the release of distractions and attachments getting in the way of God’s spirit flowing vibrantly through me. I believe that Yah is honored when we give Him the first fruits of our day and when we put no other gods, whatever they might be, before Him. Shalom.
If you’d like to learn about or try other Christ-centered meditations like the one above, get a copy of my self-pace eBook, Renewing Your Mind Christian Meditation Course. In this book you will learn a lot more about the practice of Christian Meditation and 12 additional meditations like the one above that are beneficial to relieve stress, maintain peace of mind, physical healing, and drawing closer to God.
Rhonda Jones, aka, The Christian Meditator has been promoting health and wellness for many years. Since 2006 her Christian meditation ministry has touched the lives of thousands around the world through her guided meditation Cds, courses, and Christian meditation and yoga retreats. She believes that Christ-centered meditation helps believers to follow the Biblical mandate to “cast down every thought and imagination that exalts itself against the knowledge of Yah (God) and bring every thought under the authority of Christ.” “Our faith is only a pure as our thoughts,” says Rhonda.