National Association of Christian Ministers How to Series: Ministry
By Michael Mooney, NACM Exec. Elder
The mere mention of the word meditation strikes all sorts of pictures and meanings in the minds of people. Probably, the more common are that of yoga or the practice of an Eastern religion where people sit in strange positions seeking to “center” themselves in reach of transcendental state of elevated consciousness. Unfortunately, it is these associations with the concept of meditation that has driven many Christians to condemn it altogether. However, God instructs believers to practice the art of meditation; promising prosperity and success to those who do it effectively.
In pursuit of obedience to God and the divine favor which follows, this article will:
- Define meditation
- Place it within the context of religious practice
- Spotlight it in Scripture
- Prescribe it for Christian living
Definition: Meditation is a systematic approach of religious contemplation. #
Meditation as a Religious Practice #
- The Christian approach is directed toward reflection upon Biblical passages, topics, or themes with the central focus upon God. The goal is to arouse and inspire the human will and emotions toward obedience to God (Meditation, 2003).
- Contrastingly, Buddhist and Hindu practices utilize combinations of rituals, movements, breathing patterns and postures aimed at emptying the mind of thoughts and emotions in reach of enlightenment (Meditation, 2003).
- Comparatively, Christian approaches share with Buddhist/Hindu practices the repetition of words, sacred text, etc.
Meditation in 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 good success” (Jos
- “Blessed is the man who walks…in the law of the LORD, and on
his law he meditates day and night… In
all that he does, he prospers” (Psa 1:1-3 ESV).
- Muttering, or uttering
- God instructed meditation saying, “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth…” (Jos 1:8 ESV).
Health (2000) reports:
- The basic premise behind visualization and imagery is that one’s thoughts become reality. For example, if an individual thinks anxious thoughts, then he or she will become tense. The principle of visualization and imagery is that a person can use his or her imagination to be persuaded to feel a certain way or do anything that is physically possible to do. There are three basic types of visualization: programmed, receptive, and guided visualization.
meditate on it day and night,