Spiritual Disciplines: Meditation
Meditation is reading scripture to write it on our hearts and change our behavior as a result. Christian meditation seeks to empty the mind of the daily distractions and anxieties that prevent us from focusing on spiritual things, and also seeks to fill the mind with the word of God.
Preparation/ As you prepare to meditate, find a comfortable place to sit, preferably quiet and free from distractions, with a view of nature to focus one’s attention on God.
Place your palms facing down, indicating a desire to release your concerns and anxieties to God. Name the things that are occupying your thoughts, and turn them over to God. Take a few deep breaths to relax your body.
When you are ready, turn your palms up as an indication you are ready to receive from God.
Meditation on the word of God means looking at a story or passage from several different perspectives – to enter into the story as if it were our own – to recognize ourselves in God’s story, becoming a part of it.
Read Joshua 1:1-9/ Enter the story as the person of Joshua. What is it like to hear these words spoken directly from God? What is it like to be given the awesome responsibility of leading God’s people into the Promised Land? What fears is Joshua facing? How do the words of God specifically address these fears? Write your responses in your journal.
As you read again, highlight or note in your journal the words or phrases that speak to you about the significance of meditation in these instructions to Joshua. Reflect on these words and phrases. Repeat them several times, writing them on your heart. Record in your journal the insights that God has given you.
God is revealed to us not only through the Word, but also through the created world. Another form of meditation is meditating upon creation.
Walk or sit outside/ Focus on the world God has made. Turn your full attention to the detail of a leaf or flower, or even a blade of grass. You might use your camera to capture very close detail, light/shadows, design, color. Wonder about what you are examining.
Close your eyes and listen to the sounds of nature; sounds far away and those nearby. Consider the incredible detail and care given to each living thing and the environment to sustain that life. Sit quietly and absorb the sensations. By meditating on creation, what comes into focus about who God is? What questions come to your mind? Reflect and wonder as you journal.
Prayer/ Sit in silence in God’ arms and creation.
Practice/ select a time and place to meditate each day, using a section or phrase of Scripture.
Other passages for meditation as you develop this Spiritual Discipline: Psalm 1, Psalm 8, Psalm 19, Psalm 77, Matthew 6:25-31.
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