As women, we are constantly bogged down by the busyness and challenges of everyday life. Between work, the kids, taking care of our homes, side hustles, and more, it can be difficult to carve out time during the day to just pause for a minute and breathe.
We've all heard that meditation is supposed to be extremely helpful for finding those periodic moments of relaxation. However, some of us equate meditation with mysticism, and are unsure of whether it is something we should practice or not. While others who aren't opposed to the idea, simply struggle with how to get started with incorporating meditation into their day.
Common questions we often wonder about include:
- What is meditation and its benefits?
- What are the types of meditation?
- How do I start meditating?
- Does the bible allow meditation?
- Is meditation a sin in Christianity?
If you really want to know what the bible says about meditation, AND find those moments of rest and peace in your day to help you refuel and refocus, then this is definitely the post for you.
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What Does Meditate Mean?
Let's start with taking a look at the basic definition of meditate.
According to Webster's dictionary, the word meditate means:
- to engage in contemplation or reflection
- to engage in mental exercise (such as concentration on one's breathing or repetition of a mantra) for the purpose of reaching a heightened level of spiritual awareness
- to focus one's thought's on; reflect on or ponder over
Google's definition of meditate is to think deeply or focus one's mind for a period time, in silence or with the aid of chanting, for religious or spiritual purposes, or as a method of relaxation.
Types of Meditation
Before diving into what meditation is from a biblical perspective, it's important to take a look at the different types of meditation so that we understand the differences and have a point of reference for contrast.
Although meditation itself is an ancient tradition, it is still practiced in cultures all over the world today. The practice has ties to many different religious teachings. However, for many it is more about altering consciousness, finding awareness, and achieving peace.
There are nine popular types of meditation practiced in the world today:
- Mindfulness Meditation - originates from Buddhist teachings; you pay attention to your thoughts as they pass through your mind, observing them and taking note of any patterns
- Spiritual Meditation - used in Hinduism, Daoism, and Christianity; you reflect on the silence around you and seek a deeper connection with your God or the universe
- Focused Meditation - involves concentration using any of the five senses; you can focus on something internal, like your breath, or you can bring in external influences to help focus your attention (i.e. counting mala beads, listening to a gong, or staring at a candle flame)
- Movement Meditation - an active form of meditation that involves gentle forms of motion (i.e. yoga, walking, gardening, etc.)
- Mantra Meditation - prominent in Hindu and Buddhist traditions; uses repetitive sound to clear the mind (i.e. a word, phrase, or sound, such as the popular "Om")
- Transcendental Meditation - developed by Indian spiritual figure Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, this practice involves the use of private mantra (a series of words specific to the practitioner) and is practiced for 20 minutes, twice per day, while sitting comfortably with one's eyes closed
- Progressive Relaxation (AKA Body Scan Meditation) - aimed at reducing tension in the body and promoting relaxation; often involves slowly tightening and relaxing one muscle group at a time throughout the body
- Loving-Kindness Meditation - used to strengthen feelings of compassion, kindness, and acceptance toward oneself and others; typically involves sending a series of well wishes to others (loved ones, friends, acquaintances, etc.)
- Visualization Meditation - a technique focused on enhancing feelings of relaxation, peace and calmness by visualizing positive scenes or images, or by imagining yourself succeeding at specific goals
As you can see, the different meditation types vary in technique, and require different skills and mindsets. Not all meditation styles are the right fit for everyone, and you should certainly feel encouraged to practice those that you are most comfortable with.
From a medical and scientific viewpoint, there is much evidence supporting the fact that meditation can help lower blood pressure, reduce anxiety, decrease pain, ease symptoms of depression and improve sleep.
However, as Christians, spiritual meditation is the one that we should incorporate into our lives first and foremost. So let's dive into that specific method in detail, and see what the bible says about meditation.
What Does the Bible Say About Meditation?
As seen in the list of meditation types there are several things we can choose to meditate on to clear our minds, relieve stress, or shift our focus.
However, when it comes to spiritual or bible meditation methods, there are two specific things that the Bible says we should meditate on: God and His Word.
I remember the days of long ago; I meditate on all your works and consider what your hands have done. (Psalm 143:5 NIV)
I will consider all your works and meditate on all your mighty deeds. (Psalm 77:12 NIV)
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 NIV)
Meditate on God
We've learned that meditate means to focus, reflect on, and to ponder over. So how exactly do we meditate on God?
By shifting our focus completely to Him, and by reflecting on who He is, what He has done, and is doing in our lives!
Within your temple, O God, we meditate on your unfailing love. (Psalm 48:9 NIV)
Cause me to understand the way of your precepts, that I may meditate on your wonderful deeds. (Psalm 119:27 NIV)
They speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty-- and I will meditate on your wonderful works. (Psalm 145:5 NIV)
In a world where we are surrounded by hatred, social injustice, jealousy, anger, social hazing, and violence, it is this type of spiritual meditation that can give us hope, strength, peace, and encouragement.
Meditate on God's Word
Along with meditating on God, it should come as no surprise that we should also meditate on God's Word. After all, it is through His Word that we learn who God is.
My eyes stay open through the watches of the night, that I may meditate on your promises. (Psalm 119:148 NIV)
I meditate on your precepts and consider your ways. (Psalm 119:15 NIV)
One of the absolute best ways to learn the bible is by not just reading it, but by spending time meditating on what it says.
God's Word is full of promises - approximately 1,260 to be exact. Chanting positive affirmations is one thing, but nothing compares to the empowerment you get from quoting the guaranteed promises of God!
How to Meditate on God and His Word
There are several methods you can utilize to get some meditation time into your day. We all have different schedules and preferences which could determine what works best for you.
Here are a few ideas to choose from:
- Devotionals - these come in pocket size format, and even as apps that you can download on your phone
- Prayer Breaks - talking to God and praising Him for who he is and His goodness in your life
- Quiet Time Journaling - a fun and creative way to reflect on God and His Word
- Listening to praise and worship music
- Meditation walks - a short walk to just clear your mind and think on the goodness of God
For more details on the methods above, as well as, other meditation options to try, be sure to read 30 Bible Verses About Spending Time With God.
The Benefits of Meditating on the Word of God
As Christian women, it is so important that we acknowledge the importance, power and authority of God's Word in our lives, and that we don't substitute other things in its place.
Yoga, recitation of mantras or affirmations, and visualizing positive images may be a part of your meditation routine. However, it is critical, that we do not prioritize them above meditating on the Word of God, or to the extent of abandoning time with God altogether.
There are several key benefits that result from meditating on God and His Word.
One of my favorite bible verses is Isaiah 26:3:
You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you! (Isaiah 26:3 NLT)
When we meditate on God and His Word, not only does He give us peace, but He gives us perfect peace! In fact the verse says He will keep us in a state of perfect peace when we fix are thoughts on Him, and put our trust in Him.
I don't know about you, but there are times when I feel stressed, frustrated, anxious, and even depressed. Medication, alcohol, exercise, sex, and other coping substances may be a temporary fix, but as someone who has tried all of the above at one point or another, I can promise you that NOTHING can provide peace the way the Word of God can.
Whenever I give my own personal testimony, I always share how at the absolute lowest point in my Christian journey, how it was the Word of God that saved my life.
It Keeps Our Focus On the Right Things
When we meditate on the Word of God, it teaches us exactly what we should spend our time thinking about, and focusing on.
And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. (Philippians 4:8 NLT)
And when we begin to meditate and focus on the right things, it pleases God:
May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer. (Psalm 19:14 NIV)
May my meditation be pleasing to him, as I rejoice in the Lord. (Psalm 104:34 NIV)
Its so easy to get hung up on all that is going wrong in your day, especially if things start off on the wrong foot. But, if we are not careful, we will literally allow the devil to keep us in a bad mood, or bad frame of mind ALL. DAY. LONG.
This is why I keep my pocket bible handy. And thank God for bible apps!
It Keeps Us From Sin
Meditating on God and His Word helps to keep us from sin.
I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. (Psalm 119:11 NIV)
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. (Hebrews 12:1-2 NIV)
The more time we spend meditating on God's Word, the more of His word we hide in our heart. Then when temptation to sin arises we have more ammunition to help us overcome the temptation.
So if you want to stay away from sin, kick some bad habits, or bad attitudes and emotions that keep flaring up, then spend more time meditating on God's Word, and watch God begin to make some changes!
Encouragement In Times of Trouble
Even as Christians, there is no shortage of of obstacles, challenges and hardships that we will face in life. However, the bible makes it clear, that we have everything we need through God's Word to endure trials when they come, and to come out strong in the end.
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 NIV)
Trouble and distress have come upon me, but your commands give me delight. (Psalm 119:143 NIV)
No matter how dark things get, how low you feel, or even when you feel everyone has abandoned you, remember that you can find comfort in God's Word.
Oftentimes, it really is as simple as pausing in the midst of craziness, and reflecting on the fact that God is with you and is still in control.
He says, "Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth". (Psalm 46:10 NIV)
Prosperity and Success
There are blessings we receive simply because we are Christians and belong to God. But, there are additional blessings that result when we begin to spend more time reading, meditating on, and obeying God's Word.
Be strong and very courageous. 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. 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 1:7-8 NIV)
Having worked in corporate America for over 20 years, and attending dozens of motivational seminars, I have heard every possible idea when it comes to manifesting prosperity and success into one's life. From positive self-talk, daily affirmations, and vision boards, to transcendence rituals, "good vibes only" professions, and serenity music.
But, I will tell you that NONE of that brings prosperity and success the way cultivating your relationship with God and meditating on His Word can. I find it ironic how we say we want to succeed in life, and will run around driving ourselves crazy in the pursuit of success, without ever doing the one thing that God says will guarantee our success.
RELATED POST: How to Measure and Celebrate Success As A Christian
More Bible Verses About Meditation
One of the questions I get asked often is how do I discipline myself to spend time with God regularly. My answer is always the same - 'just get started'. You will never develop a regular devotional or meditation time with God if you never get started.
Once you start, I promise that the more time you spend meditating on God and His Word, the more you will desire to do it more often. And before you know it, it will become a habit. You will begin to cultivate your relationship with God in so many ways, and will even find yourself falling in love with His Word!
He went out to the field one evening to meditate, and as he looked up, he saw camels approaching. (Genesis 24:63 NIV)
On my bed I remember you; I think of you through the watches of the night. Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings. (Psalm 63:6-7 NIV)
How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth! (Psalm 119:103 NIV)
Meditate on God's Word Regularly
Ladies, now you have seen what the bible says about meditation. In case you haven't figured it out by now, it is not only important, but vital that we find time to meditate on God and His Word regularly.
No matter how busy, stressful, or chaotic your daily life and routine may seem, I promise that once you start to incorporate even a few minutes each day just to pause and reflect on God and His goodness in your life, that you will start to see a difference.
Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither- whatever they do prospers. (Psalm 1:1-3 NIV)
It doesn't get any plainer than this verse. When you make mediating on God and His Word a regular priority, you will be blessed, find strength in God, and you will prosper!
Please don't walk away from this thinking you should stop doing yoga, stop writing and quoting positive affirmations, or destroy your vision board. I am simply encouraging you to make spiritual meditation, specifically meditating on God and His Word, your top priority and primary focus.
Every other method should be secondary, and considered as supplemental in value.
Via the internet, social media, and the world's system in general, our society is slowly but surely steering our focus away from God and His Word, to any and every thing that simply distracts us and keeps us from our purpose in Christ. Let's strive to keep God first always!
Want to change your life? Start by meditating on God's Word regularly.
Need additional guidance or help with getting more God time in your day?
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