I have never been one for meditating. I always had this vague knot in my stomach whenever anyone brought up the word “meditate”. I struggled to wrap my head around exactly what it meant to mediate.
I understood the definition. For example, one definition that pops up on the internet is to “think deeply or focus one’s mind for a period of time, in silence or with the aid of chanting, for religious or spiritual purposes or as a method of relaxation.”
Seems simple enough, right? Maybe my mind was not designed of medication as thinking deeply for a period of time especially in silence does not bring peace and calm but instead, oddly, stress and anxiety…my thoughts bang around in head like an bull in a china shop!
We are instructed in the Bible to mediate. Joshua 1:8 tells us, “Keep this Book of the Law [the Bible] 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.” Psalms 1:2 tells us “but whose delight is in the law of the LORD, and who meditates on his law day and night.”
Over there years I have read books and the Bible. I have studied and taught God’s word. I have sung praises and said prayers. I have journaled and written blogs. I have draw close to God and I feel His presence and follow His guidance. Yet meditation still seemed elusive.
Recently my husband has touted the amazing mediation he’d been experiencing. I have read and heard again and again all the health benefits of meditation. After taking a much needed deep breath, I was determined give mediation another try.
My husband shared with me a basic breathing technique and assured me that just starting with a few minutes was acceptable. Adding this to the start of my quiet time was my next step.
What I found is I needed a clear plan to direct my thoughts and I tried several difference patterns. One pattern that has developed for me is as follows:
- I am loved.
- I am forgiven.
- I am adopted.
- I am guided.
These four phrase encompass my faith journey with Jesus. Each statement over the years has changed my life, my walk and my relationship with Jesus.
One other successful approach for me has been using the Lord’s Prayer as found in Matthews 6:9-13. First it ran though my mind just as I have said it again and again since I was young. It then occurred to me, I was not a “we”. What if I changed the verbiage to be first person and used words that spoke to me directly? Here’s what that looked like:
My Father, who is in Heaven, hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.
Meet my needs to today.
Forgive my sins as I forgive anyone who’s has sinned against me.
Lead me not into temptation, but save me from evil; For yours is the kingdom, the power and glory forever.
Amen. Let it be so.
Those words registered in new way. My mind, heart and soul connected with the Lord and for the first time I believe I experienced meditation as it was intended for me, for us.
Maybe this is not a new phenomenon for you. However if you have found the effects and methods of medication to be elusive as I have, don’t give up!! Try these “journey statements”, this prayer, Bible verses or create your own verbiage.
Set your timer for 5 minutes and give mediation a try. You have nothing to loose and God’s waiting for you!