The Joy of Prayerful Meditation
- Debbie Przybylski Intercessors Arise
- 2015 13 Aug
“What you think about in your unguarded moments reflects what your mind dwells upon. To keep your thoughts pure, you must guard what goes into your mind. The things you allow your mind to dwell on will be revealed by the way you live. Ifyou focus on negative things, you will inevitably be a negative person. If you fill your mind with thoughts of Christ, you will become Christlike. What you fill your mind with is a matter of choice. Choose to concentrate on the magnificent truths of God, and they will create in you a noble character that brings glory to God.” - Henry Blackaby
The challenge we are facing today is learning to meditate on God and His Word instead of focusing on the bad things that are happening in the world. God can help us walk in the joy of prayerful meditation in spite of what is happening around us. The choice is ours. Learning to meditate on God's Word is essential for a powerful prayer life. Meditation guides us into a deeper life with God, enabling us to pray on-target prayers and helping us to know more deeply the ways of God. Meditation is often a lost art because of the busy and noisy world in which we live.
Henry Ford once hired an efficiency expert to evaluate the Ford Motor Company. After a few weeks, the man gave a very good report, except for one thing. He complained about the man down the hall. The expert said that there was a man who was just sitting in an office with his feet up on a desk, appearing to be wasting his time. Henry Ford replied,“That man thought of an idea that saved us millions of dollars. And when he thought of it, he was doing exactly the same thing: sitting with his feet up on the desk!” That man was meditating (thinking and focusing his mind on one thing). It can look like a waste of time, but the best strategies for life will come when we take time to prayerfully meditate on God’s Word.
Meditating is something that even the secular world practices. Several years ago, I worked on a team trying to reach the cults in Chicago. A popular cult at that time was transcendental meditation. Weekly the cult leaders had meetings open to the public, trying to entice others to join. Our team went prayerfully to a couple of their meetings and listened to them tell of their peace through meditating. Clearly they were not meditating on God but using an empty mantra. On one occasion as the cult leader told about the peace he was getting through meditating, his chair collapsed right in front of everyone and he completely lost his peace! God answered our prayers for those attending the meeting that evening in a most unusual way.
True meditation through God’s Word is key to a life of joy and spiritual fruitfulness. It keeps us from dwelling on the bad things we hear every day in the newspaper and on the news. Meditation is different than reading, studying, or memorizing Scripture. It is the digestive faculty of the soul. It builds us up and refreshes and feeds our souls.
The Value of Meditation
"Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night” - (Psalm 1:1-2).
Biblical meditation involves taking a phrase, verse, or passage of Scripture and thinking carefully about it, pondering, and letting the Holy Spirit slowly make it alive within you. Then you pray it back to God. Meditation creates faith and expectation. Meditation focuses our thinking on God's Word. Through meditation we come to know God, not just about Him. Through meditation we grow in our love for God’s Word. Meditation helps us:
Get to know God - This goes beyond just knowing about Him. We get to know Him personally as our King, our Rock, our Redeemer, our Savior.
“May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer” (Psalm 19:14).
Hear God's voice and keep from sin - We are then able to pray on-target prayers.
“I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you” (Psalm 119:11).
Change spiritually and gain insight -We will always grow and God will change our hearts through meditation.
“I have more insight than all my teachers, for I meditate on your statutes” (Psalm 119:99).
Walk in obedience - Meditation will help us to obey God and be ready to do the right thing in a moment that requires a sudden choice.
“Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left that you may be successful wherever you go” (Joshua 1:7).
Have something to share with others - Often the very Scriptures that we meditate on are the ones someone else needs to hear and the ones we need to pray.
“Within your temple, O God, we meditate on your unfailing love. Like your name, O God, your praise reaches to the ends of the earth” (Psalm 48:9-10).
Grow in a worshipping lifestyle - As we ponder Scripture, we naturally grow deeper in our prayer life and are led more fully into worship.
“I will meditate on all your works and consider all your mighty deeds. Your ways, O God, are holy” (Psalm 77:12-13).
Gain comfort and gain strength -We gain spiritual strength when we meditate on Scripture.
“Though rulers sit together and slander me, your servant will meditate on your decrees. Your statutes are my delight; they are my counselors” (Psalm 119:23-24).
Receive understanding and success -God teaches us how to walk in success as we meditate on Scripture.
“Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful” (Joshua 1:8).
Meditation helps us pray more effectively. Psalm 119 speaks over and over again about the value of God’s Word and the importance of meditation. Meditation on the Scriptures will cause us to understand something of the mind and heart of God. Meditation changes us deeply, freeing us from negative thinking because we are dwelling on the positive truth of Scripture. It touches the deepest part of our soul and transforms us. Meditation should always result in a response to God, whether it is repentance, thanksgiving, worship, obedience, or a change in attitude.
How to Prayerfully Meditate
Read through a passage of Scripture.
Let the Holy Spirit bring your attention to something in the passage.
Paraphrase the verse.
Try picturing what the verse is saying.
Relate the verse or passage to other verses you know.
Make it personal.
Pray it back to God thanking Him, asking for His help to obey, praying for insight, etc.
Write something down.
This week meditate on one aspect of God’s nature in a single verse of Scripture.For example, prayerfully meditate on God’s holiness in Psalm 93:5,“Your statutes stand firm; holiness adorns your house for endless day, O Lord.”
“Lord, teach me about your holiness. Your Word says that You are holy, and holiness adorns Your house forever. There is no end to Your holiness. There is no darkness in You. I praise You for being holy and righteous. You are pure and spotless, without flaw. Thank you for creating me in Your likeness. I long to partake of Your holiness. Make me like You. Help me to think about that which is noble, right, pure, lovely, and admirable (Philippians 4:8). I thank you for the joy of prayerful meditation. I bless Your holy name. Amen.”
"When God’s truth is allowed to touch the deepest corner of your soul, the Holy Spirit will transform you into the image of Jesus Christ. Don’t just read your Bible; meditate on God’s Word and ask Him to change your heart.” Henry Blackaby