We live in a world full of noise.
In its midst, we all feel a desire for silence.
When I think of silence, I think of peace, rest, and tranquility. The world might direct us to seek these qualities through a form of meditation involving emptying one’s mind. This form of meditation has become more and more prevalent, but is this the way Christians should seek peace and rest?
The Bible clearly and emphatically answers, “No!”. Our goal as Christians is to seek silence with the Lord in order to fill our minds with truths about Him. Psalm 46:10 says “Stop fighting and know that I am God.” Other translations use the phrase, “Be still.” Be still and think about who God says He is in His Word; this is the holy, biblical way of meditation.
Psalm 119 gives us a clear understanding of Christian meditation:
“I will meditate on Your precepts and think about Your ways. I will delight in Your statutes; I will not forget your word.” (Psalm 119:15-16)
While other forms of meditation attempt to lure us with false promises of peace if we empty our minds, God promises true peace when we practice His idea of filling our minds with God’s Word and delighting in His truth! Isaiah 26:3 promises, “You will keep the mind that is dependent on you in perfect peace, for it is trusting in You.”
I can empathize in the struggle to find time for quiet study and reflection, prayer and meditation in God’s Word. I had been battling idleness and was immensely helped by reading C.S. Lewis’ book, The Screwtape Letters. If you are not familiar with this book, it is an allegorical series of letters written from an older, wiser demon mentoring his nephew, a novice demon, put in charge of keeping a young man away from God. The older demon writes, “It is funny how mortals always picture us as putting things into their minds: in reality our best work is done by keeping things out.”
Yikes! Lewis’ words really convicted me of the idleness of my mind. It is never too late to start filling our minds with God’s Word. Pick up God’s Word, pray for guidance, and the Holy Spirit is faithful and able to reveal truth to us. (John 16:13)
When I actually make time, I’ve found reading and studying God’s Word to be a most satisfying endeavor. If I’m being honest though, spending time in prayer has often seemed tedious and even boring. I was ashamed to even admit that until I read Donald Whitney echo my thoughts in his book, Praying the Bible. He explained that if prayer feels dry and boring, we are doing it wrong! He encourages us to pray using God’s own words. I found it so beneficial to begin my time of prayer with reading a Psalm in prayer to God. Since I’ve begun this practice, my prayers have become much more saturated with Scripture and they are far from boring!
Finally, believing lies is a sure way to keep ourselves from quieting our hearts before the Lord in meditation and prayer. For the longest time, I believed I needed to pray the “right” words. So, I “hid” my “wrong” feelings from God, so as not to be irreverent. For example, if I felt anxious, I felt I had to deal with that before praying, because I knew my anxiety stemmed from not trusting in the Lord.
In truth, we cannot hide our feelings from God. I condemned myself for having “wrong” feelings, rather than being honest and submitting them to the Lord. God gave us feelings in order to point us to Him, not away from Him. If we pray like the Psalmist and cry out to God, in the midst of our fear and anxiety, He will change our hearts to be conformed to His!
What can you do today to make time to quiet yourself before the Lord? If you are a mom, can you load your littles up in a stroller and walk around the neighborhood and pray? (I put in my bluetooth earbuds so I can pray out loud without looking like a crazy person talking to myself!) If you work full-time, can you pray in your car while you’re on your lunch break? Praying out loud is not a requirement, but I’ve found it keeps me focused!
Sisters, let’s practice silence and holy meditation by filling our minds with God! Together with the apostle and teacher Paul, I pray for us:
“Therefore, brothers and sisters, in view of the mercies of God, I urge you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God; this is your true worship. Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.” (Romans 12:1-2, emphasis mine) Amen.
Prayer is central to our ministry as believers in Jesus as we carry eachother’s burdens and intercede for one another. Our team is honored to share the work of praying alongside you!
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