Introduction to the Discipline of Meditation.
Christian meditation is an attempt to fill the mind
(and our lives) with God and detach ourselves from the confusion around
us. This allows us to focus on God and obtain an inner wholeness and an
ordered life. We begin to see things from a different perspective. It
is not an escape from the world, but rather, a way of helping us deal
with the world. We are simply opening ourselves up to God, to listen to
Him, and to realise His potential for our lives.
Problems we may have with meditation.
- We know we need to break out of the chaos and allow God to
restore us in meditation, but we often lack the discipline to actually
- We may not have any experience in meditation, and don't
know how to go about it.
- We may have tried it and felt we haven't succeeded
immediately and just given up.
- Sometimes our lives just seem to be too crowded, with work,
families, our homes, and all the other seemingly necessary things that
fill our days. We may have a deep desire to hear the Lord's voice, but
our lives are so disorganised that we think that we can't see our way
clear of the clutter. (If only we realised that the clutter would
become manageable if we gave ourselves time to focus on God and see
things from His perspective).
- We are sometimes afraid of coming into God's presence
because we know we have to change. We may also be afraid of hearing
God's voice telling us what to do.
- Our pride can put a wall up between us and God.
- We must guard against the notion that once we have
performed certain acts at certain times we are finally meditating. (It
is something which must become a way of life through learning by
Five forms of meditation.
- Meditation upon Scripture.
"Collecting" all that which worries us, handing it over to God, and
then receiving his replacements e.g. give up pride, receive humility..
(Palms down, Palms up).
- Meditation upon creation (with a focus on the Creator).
- Meditation upon the events of our time (everyday events).
We meditate upon the events of our time so that we can discern God's
work in our world and in our lives. We need to seek God's guidance in
our whole lives.
- Memorisation of Scripture.
It is helpful at the beginning to follow the advice of the "masters",
but we must remember that each person is an individual, and everyone's
meditation will be a different, personalised thing.
During the week try and find time (about 20-30 mins.) to practice
meditation. You may find it helpful to follow these guidelines:
- Open your Bible to the chosen Bible reading. Leave it open
in front of you.
- Enter into God's presence in prayer, asking that His Spirit
will bring His word to life for you.
- Slow down. Consciously slow down your
breathing; breathe deeper, more gently, invite the Holy Spirit into
your life. With every deep breath in say, "I breathe in the Holy
Spirit", with every deep breath out say, "I breath out the Love of
God". Allow the Holy Spirit to penetrate every part of your being.
Picture that happening.
- Now read the scripture passage slowly. (Do not
analyse or study it.) Allow the Holy Spirit
to teach you what He wants.
- When a word or phrase "lights up" or "rings a bell", put
your bible down. Concentrate on God's word to you by repeating it
(gently, not mechanically). Do not force any response/emotion; allow
the Holy Spirit to work.
- As you become aware of the impression (feeling/attitude)
God's word has made on you, respond to God in
prayer, or in silence if you wish. Be with Christ, bask in His love.
- As distractions set in, close your prayer off in whatever
way you want (you may wish to say the Lord's Prayer).
Luke 10: 38-42
Acts 10 :1-27
Acts 8: 1-6, 26-40
Jeremiah 18: 1-12
James 1: 22-27
John 12: 20 -36
Listening to God in the quiet
Listening to God through visions
Listening to God through an inner voice
Listening to God in our world
Listen and obey
The desert man
A Series of Meditations for Advent by Thom M. Shuman
During Advent, read the psalms and discover their power, their poetry,
their prayers for your life.
You are invited to read the psalm listed for each day, the brief
meditation, and then use the prayer offered or one of your own.
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