What comes to mind when you hear this word?
New age humanism?
Or do you think of prayer?
Maybe King David’s writing of the psalms and aligning with the Holy Spirit?
Yeah, not many people think about that last option.
It is true that meditation is a word that seems to be commonly associated with the practice of yoga and Buddhism.
But meditation and its benefits were written about thousands of years ago in the Bible.
Don’t believe me? Take a look at these scriptures:
Psalm 1:1: “And in His law he meditates day and night. He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, Which yields its fruit in its season And its leaf does not wither; And in whatever he does, he prospers.”
Psalm 19:14 (ESV): “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.”
Joshua 1:8: “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.”
Philippians 4:8 (ESV): “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”
Research has finally caught up to what we know as truth from the Bible and confirmed that regular practice of meditation decreases the body’s response to stress.
Isn’t it amazing?
Another study looked at the electrical activity between the brains of people who practiced meditation and the brains of others who did not.
Results showed measurable changes in activity in areas related to positive thinking and optimism in those who meditated regularly.
Science is discovering the incredible benefits of meditation, from improving sleep to helping with addictions and even with memory loss.
Meditation is a habitual process of training your mind to focus and redirect your thoughts.
Simply put, meditation is an intentional action of turning your thoughts and attention away from what’s going on around you and to focus and redirect your thoughts towards God.
Heavenly, isn’t it?
Building intentional routines into your life can be simple.
In fact, I bet most of you already do this.
What do you often do when you sit down to eat. Pray? The act of praying before eating is an intentional pause to acknowledge God’s faithfulness and provision.
Think about practical and simple ways to take a moment to redirect your focus on Christ throughout your day.
For me (you know, the crazy lady often running from one appointment to the next), simply closing my eyes and taking a few deep breaths make a huge difference.
- I take a deep breath in, receiving God’s grace, strength and wisdom;
- I hold the breathe, setting my focus
- Then I slowly breathe out my stress of the day, my agenda and thoughts.
Sometimes it takes a few breaths to get focused and out of my head of spinning thoughts.
And that’s okay.
I have a coworker that has the habit of changing her shoes at work and at home.
As she puts on her work shoes in her office she sets the intention of her day. At the end of the day, she takes off her work shoes and leaves the stress and stories at work before going home, each time pausing to talk to God.
These are simple, in the moment, suggestions that help us center our thoughts and intentions on God.
Meditation traditionally is a dedicated time set apart to focus.
But that doesn’t mean it has to be long.
I’m a practical person and I believe in quality over quantity. Mic drop.
But nothing beats regular connection, meditation on God’s word.
In John 1:1, it says: “In the beginning, was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God.”
The scripture is life-affirming and life-giving.
Meditate on it daily and you will be restored.
You will build up resiliency; that ability to bounce back quickly and to remain strong in the face of adversity.
If you are like me and don’t know where to start with meditation, I have created a quick tips cheat sheet on how to get started with meditation.
You can download it here.