Psalm 19:14 states, “May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.” What, then, is Christian meditation, and how should Christians meditate? Unfortunately, the word “meditation” can carry the connotation of something mystical. For some, meditation is clearing the mind while sitting in an unusual position. For others, meditation is communing with the spirit world around us. Concepts such as these most definitely do not characterize Christian meditation.
Christian meditation has nothing to do with practices that have Eastern mysticism as their foundation. Such practices include lectio divina, transcendental meditation, and many forms of what is called contemplative prayer. These have at their core a dangerous premise that we need to “hear God’s voice,” not through His Word, but through personal revelation through meditation. Some churches are filled with people who think they are hearing a “word from the Lord,” often contradicting one another and therefore causing endless divisions within the body of Christ. Christians are not to abandon God’s Word, which is “God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17). If the Bible is able to thoroughly equip us for every good work, how could we think we need to seek a mystical experience instead of or in addition to it?
Christian meditation is to be solely on the Word of God and what it reveals about Him and His works (Psalm 77:10–12; 143:5). David found this to be so, and he describes the man who is “blessed” as one whose “delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night” (Psalm 1:2). True Christian meditation is an active thought process whereby we give ourselves to the study of the Word, praying over it and asking God to give us understanding by the Spirit, who has promised to lead us “into all truth” (John 16:13). Then we put this truth into practice, committing ourselves to the Scriptures as the rule for life and practice as we go about our daily activities. This causes spiritual growth and maturing in the things of God as we are taught by His Holy Spirit.