The Power of Meditation
As a Christian I didn’t understand the significance or the power of meditation until I became an adult. And even as an adult I wasn’t aware that mediation was so deeply rooted in the Bible. What I heard about mediation was in the context of the New Age movement. Specifically, Transcendental Meditation (TM). This type of mediation is rooted in Hindu philosophy and may be a part of mind-body exercises like traditional yoga. However, upon further research and good bible teaching I learned that God does in fact want us to meditate. Joshua 1:8 says,
“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.”
Now don’t get me wrong I was familiar with this scripture but I lacked the application of it in my life. According to the Mayo Clinic, during mediation you focus your attention and eliminate the stream of jumbled thoughts that crowd your mind and cause stress. The Mayo Clinic further states, that the process may result in enhanced physical and emotional well-being. Seems to me that science is finally catching up with the Word of God! Yes, mediating on God’s Word is spiritually and scientifically powerful as it brings about spiritual peace, reassurance, comfort, and understanding thereby relieving stress and affecting behavior.
The Word and Science
Mediation has become very mainstream in recent years and it’s important for us as Christians to understand what it all means. Scientific research has shown that there is a connection between the mind and the body. Specifically, when stress manifests itself through anxiety, fatigue, and tension the sympathetic nervous system is affected and triggers our “Fight or Flight” response. However, research shows that mediation slows down the heart and breath rating, improves circulation and ultimately activates the parasympathetic nervous system which triggers the “Rest and Digest” response.
Research illuminates God’s amazing design of man. We are created in God’s image which consists of a Body, Soul, and Spirit. Our soul is composed of our mind, will, and emotions. The mind functions on a conscious and unconscious level daily. Consciously we think and reason and unconsciously we hold our beliefs and retain memories. Now here’s the amazing part! Our Father and Creator is the originator of the Mind-Body connection that’s so popular now. You see he designed us all in a way that our mind, will and emotions are all connected to our endocrine, immune, and nervous systems! Essentially, our mind and our thoughts affect our physical bodies. God created the human body; Body, Soul, and Spirit. A design that can never be replicated with a remedy to support the physical, mental, and spiritual well-being of His design: His Word.
The scientific benefits of mediation are great but here’s where worldly mediation and Christian mediation differ, the focus. Christian meditation is essentially a form of prayer in which you ponder and reflect upon the revelations of God. Rick Warren, in The Purpose Driven Life describes meditation as “focused thinking”. God wants us to mediate on His Word day and night so therein lays the focus. If you are dealing with anxiety meditate upon 1 Peter 5:7 (NIV), “Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.” And just like prayer you can mediate anywhere. Mediation is even valuable during exercise. For example, you can turn your fitness routine into a moving mediation by focusing on 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been purchased at a price. Therefore, glorify God in your body.”
Although it’s nice to mediate in a nice quiet area with just you, God, and your bible if that’s not possible, do not be discouraged. Try a couple of my tips for Christian Mediation on the Go:
Mediation – Visualization
Select a scripture
Begin to slow down your breathing
Close your eyes
Utilize your senses to visualize the scripture/God’s promise being manifested in your life for 30 seconds or more
Open your eyes with a new perspective and Thank God
Appeared originally in Faith & Fitness Magazine