The desperate need today is not for a greater number of intelligent people, or gifted people, but for deep people. ~ Richard Foster
SPIRITUAL DISCIPLINES: activities that make us capable of receiving more of God’s life and power; exercises unto godliness.
The Spiritual Disciplines call us to move from surface living to deep inner transformation. But to change our inner most being requires dedication, an intentional commitment to new actions, and new habits.
MEDITATION: a long, steady look at God, His creation and His Word; stopping to give God our undivided attention.
Meditation is an inward discipline, one that leads to intimacy with God, a deepening of our life, making more room for God.
Let’s consider a few practical questions regarding Meditation:
- WHAT TIME OF DAY SHOULD I MEDITATE?
If I’m sleepless at midnight I spend the hours in grateful reflection. ~ Ps 63:6
- DOES MY POSTURE DURING MEDITATION MATTER?
We should find a comfortable position, but not so comfortable that you get drowsy. It’s often best to begin with sitting in a straight back chair. If you lay down you may end of falling to sleep. Not that that’s a bad thing, but save this relaxation technique for bedtime. I practice Yoga each morning and find this a wonderful time for meditation on various Scriptures. Surprisingly, a long hot bath is where I have my best meditation time.
May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer. ~ Psalm 19:14
- WHAT AM I GOING TO GET OUT OF MY MEDITATION TIME?
I’ll ponder all the things you’ve accomplished and give a long, loving look at your acts. ~ Ps. 77:12
Here are some suggested meditation activities:
- Take a nature walk, meditate on the wonder of God’s Creation around you. Enjoy the plants, trees, birds, squirrels, clouds, the breeze… This world is full of beauty that we miss everyday!
- Select a section of Scripture (Ps 139, Ps 86, Ps 42) read through it slowly. When a verse pops out, ponder it. What is God saying to you? Write down feelings and questions that surface.
- When in a public place, take time to meditate on people, see them as God sees them, hurting, loving, joyful. Delight in them as He does. Take some time to pray for them.
- Without getting too bogged down, meditate on current events. Look at the world through God’s eyes. Is He prompting you to pray in a new way?
What are your favorite things to use for meditation?
You may be in a place of reflection on past transgressions and needed desire to change. One of my favorite things is to meditate with choral music, specifically Gregorian. Here is one of the most beautiful of all: Miserere Mei Deus written in the 1600’s by Gregorio Allegri. I suggest reading Psalm 51, on which this song is based, before meditating on this exquisite music. You will be transformed! https://youtu.be/3s45XOnYOIw
Celebration of Discipline by Richard Foster
Spiritual Disciplines Handbook by Adele Ahlberg Calhoun
Devotional Classics by Richard Foster and James Bryan Smith