A devotional method with powerful outcomes and can be applied for different purposes.
May these words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer. Psalm 19:14
THE DEVOTIONAL PRACTICE OF BIBLICAL MEDITATION
If somebody practices meditating on Scripture as an individual discipline in their devotional life, they will certainly come to be exercised in hearing God’s voice through His Word. Duncan Campbell showed in his teaching that it is great to read the words, yet it is more vital the words go through us, as it does when we take some time for Biblical Meditation.
Biblical meditation is defined by “the practice of pondering, considering, and reflecting on scripture.”
Jim Packer claims this: Meditation is the act of calling to mine and also thinking
over, as well as dwelling on, and relating to oneself, the numerous points that one knows concerning, purposes, promises of God.
Biblical meditation is an activity of holy thought, performed in the presence of God, by the help of God, as a way of communion with God.
A.W. Tozer explains the devotional method of Biblical meditation this way: “It’s ideal is we get alone with God. As well as with our Scriptures outspread before us. After that, we will approach God to start to hear Him speak with us in our hearts.”
“I believe for the average individual the progressions will certainly be something similar to this: First a sound as of a Presence walking in a garden. After that, a voice, intelligible, yet still from clear.”
“Then a happy moment when the Spirit begins to illuminate the scriptures, and that which has been only a sound, or at best a voice, now becomes an intelligible word, warm and intimate and clear as a word of a dear friend. Then will come life and light, and best of all, the ability to see and rest in and embrace Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord of all.”
It’s clear that those that make Biblical meditation a regular practice, have deep as well as satisfying experiences with the Lord. It’s my wish that you will start to draw near to the Lord, to hear His voice via His Word and also by the Holy Spirit, both as preparation work for asking but also as a way of being Spirit-led in that asking.
When you meditate on the words of God, your mind will certainly be full of deep thoughts about God, His character, and also His ways, forgetting about yourself. This is really different from Transcendental Meditation that urges the emptying one’s mind of thoughts yet is self-orientated.
SCRIPTURE REFERENCES ABOUT MEDITATION
There’s clear uses of the words meditate or meditation in scripture (NIV). Here are some notable ones:
Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; 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
Blessed is the one … whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on His law day and night. Psalm 1:1-2
Within your temple, O God, we meditate on your unfailing love. Psalm 48:9
My mouth will speak words of wisdom; the meditation of My heart will give you understanding. Psalm 49:3
May my meditation be pleasing to Him, as I rejoice in the Lord. Psalm 104:34
Oh, how I love Your law! I meditate on it all day long. Your commands are always with me and make me wiser than my enemies. I have more insight than all my teachers, for I meditate on Your statutes. Psalm 119:97-99
Suggested guidelines by Stuart McAlpine:
Find quietness. It is helpful to be in a place that is literally quiet, but it is also
necessary to ask the Lord to remove any distractions from our minds. Pray
for any intrusive thoughts from the world, the flesh or the devil to be removed,
and consecrate your mind to receive holy thoughts from the Holy Spirit.
Begin with worship. This can be as simple as acknowledging who God is as we worship with singing; that may includesinging familiar songs or hymns, but you could also take passages of scripture or psalms and sing them in freeform as led by the Spirit.
There is power in declaring who this God is who we are about to ask to do great things. It also
prepares our hearts to ask and quickens our faith.
Focus on asking. If you do not have a subject for prayer in mind, whether you are praying on your own or with others, be intentional to ask the Lord to show you what it is He wants you to ask about. As you meditate you will be keeping the focus in mind and applying the truth of the Word to it.
Passage of Scripture. Choose a passage, it might be as short as one verse but probably not longer than a chapter. Look at the context, as this will help your understanding. Read it slowly and repeatedly if need be. Ask the Holy Spirit to begin to highlight what it is the Lord wants to show you, what understanding He wants you to have.
You may find one word gets your attention, or an idea or particular verse, the verbs, or someone’s name, and so on. Stop and ponder that one thing. Allow yourself to think creatively about it. Other verses might come to mind that is associated with it.
As you meditate you will have all sorts of wonderful thoughts, understanding, and revelation coming to mind. You need to trust the Lord is speaking and you will begin to see why it applies to the focus you have for prayer.
It is difficult to explain the wonder of this to someone who has not experienced it, but truly you will see things in the Word of God you have never seen before, even in passages you may be extremely familiar with.
Write down your meditation. If you are able you may find it helpful to write down all the thoughts you have. This has many benefits: it helps you order your thinking, it makes it easier to pray through all you have received, and it gives you a record so that you can check later how God answered your prayers.
Understanding from meditation. Once you sense you have completed your meditation and have some specific things to pray you can begin to do so. If you are praying with others you should all share briefly what understanding you have received. You will be amazed at how everyone’s meditations fit together giving you all a more complete picture.
Application of meditation. The truths that you gain through meditation will have a personal application for you first. Once you have received that understanding for yourself you are ready to apply it to whatever focus you are asking for. It is like getting a strategy as to how you should be praying.
Pray out what you have received with authority, confident that these things have been
shown you by God and He wants to answer your askIng.
Thanksgiving. Close your time of meditation and prayer thanking God for allowing you to see new things from His Word, like fresh bread. Also, thank Him that He will in His gracious faithfulness answer your asking.