Meditation and prayer are two different spiritual exercises that are important in our spiritual growth. I will try to explain both scriptural and give their differences.
On the one hand, prayer is communication between God and man. Man relates to God personally. Prayer is majorly a two way communication between God and man. Prayer is not a monologue but a dialogue. A Christian who prays should expect a word from the Lord and answers from the Lord. Fellowship with God is a personal basis of prayer. We communicate to God because we are sons (1 John 3:1). However, sinners who have not accepted the Lordship of Jesus for their salvation remain separated from God. Even though the unbelievers may pray, they do not have the basis for a solid fellowship with God. This must make us appreciate the privilege of prayer.
On the other hand, meditation is the exercise of quiet reflection, where you repeat God’s word for twenty to thirty minutes. It is a deliberate time set apart to think over and over the scriptures. Our thoughts are powerful, hence we tend to say more what we think and do what we say. Meditation unlike prayer involves only yourself – you can only know what you think. Some of the scriptures you meditated upon can now be written in a journal.
Prayer is an act of sole trust on the Almighty God for all our needs, while meditation is an act of submission and continuous mindful consideration on God’s word in the scriptures. Praying to God shows that we cannot do it by our own power. We have surrendered all to Him alone. A Believer cannot grow without prayer. Most importantly, the privilege of prayer for every believer is a very excellent gift of God. In the same vein, Meditation is very vital as prayer because it makes a Believer’s thoughts totally on the Lord. After we have prayed, God expects us to obey His word and do His will. Only regular meditation in God’s word can make us fulfill His will for us. Joshua was instructed to meditate on the Book of the Law for the purpose of obeying all that was written in it (Josh 1:8).
Prayer cannot be replaced by anything else in a Believers’ life, so also meditation. Prayer has several benefits which include: God’s intervention over our situation, spiritual strengthening, knowing the mind of God concerning a matter, and total dependence on God. Praying must be without ceasing (1 Thess 5:17, Luke 18:1). Nonetheless, the Bible is also filled with instructions on meditation. Paul, in 1 Tim 4:15, urged Timothy to meditate, or take pains with, the instructions he gives.
The idea of meditation is also found in Phil 4:8 and Col 3:2. Meditation also brings several benefits: strengthening of faith, boldness in a fearful situation, trust in the Lord, obedience to God’s word, living a holy life, and total surrender to God’s will. A Christian that is praying, but not meditating is like a person leaping with one leg instead of walking with two legs. Both practices make us whole, perfect, established, and standing in God’s will for our lives. Meditation is a lost art for many Christians, but the practice needs to be cultivated again.
God wants you to be healthy and whole, in you mind, body, and spirit, learn how Christian meditation can transform your life and relationship with God.