The Discipline of Meditation

Christian meditation, very simply, is the ability to hear God’s voice and obey his word.

Richard J. Foster, Celebration of Discipline, Chapter 2

Meditation is a discipline that many Christians don’t understand, or have an incorrect understanding of. The meditation talked about in popular culture involves clearing your mind and releasing negative energy. It is often associated with Yoga and other physical disciplines. There is often an emphasis on becoming part of a universal spirituality that everyone practices in their own unique way.

Christian meditation has a very different purpose from other forms of meditation. The goal is to become united with God, filling our mind, heart and spirit with God’s love, peace, joy and hope. Christian meditation can include focusing on scripture, a song or a prayer.

Hearing God’s voice is often misunderstood as well. Up until a few years ago, I always thought that hearing God’s voice was something only the super-spiritual Christians could do, as though it was a gift or a skill that came with time. I now realize that hearing God’s voice is something we, as believers, must be doing all the time. God speaks through countless things, such as family, friends, scripture, nature, pain (especially pain), sorrow, prayers, songs… the list goes on.

Obeying God’s word can be thought of as an active meditation. Sitting and meditating on God’s word is only one part. Meditation is not at all useful if I get up from my meditation and go right on neglecting the presence of God in my life. Active meditation through obedience is the point of meditation in the first place. We meditate on God’s word so that we will hear it, believe it, understand it and obey it.

4 Replies to “The Discipline of Meditation”

  1. There is no such thing as Christian meditation. Meditation is meditation.The goal of meditation will be the same for all religions. Meditation does not believe in any religion, only in the Union with God.

  2. Seema, obviously you have not done proper research on the definition of the word meditation, as well as research on the history of different forms of meditation. From Hinduism to Sikhism and even Acoustic meditation, there are many types and many methods.

    The definition of meditation is simply a discourse expressing considered thoughts on a subject. So, in the context of Christianity, meditation is expressing considered thoughts on Yahweh and His character.

    You say “meditation does not believe in any religion”. Rather, meditation is an important part of all religions, and can be practiced differently depending on the purpose of the meditation.

  3. I agree with you that there are many types of meditation techniques. But what I mean to say is that meditation can be practised universally, it has no boundaries, it is not restricted to religion. if you want to connect with your source i.e. God, you can directly connect through meditation.Can you give more details about ‘Yahweh and his character?

  4. Seema, what I am talking about in this post is specifically meditation within a Christian context.

    Yahweh is best described in the Old Testament of the Holy Bible. He is the creator and sustainer of life. He is holy and passes His holiness on to us by grace as a result of the sacrifice he provided through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, God’s Son who was born by the Virgin Mary nearly 2000 years ago. Christian meditation, or meditation within the context of the Christian faith, is simply meditating on God’s love and faithfulness.

    Please study the Bible to get a deeper understanding of God’s character. There is only so much I can say, but you need to read the scripture for yourself.

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