But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. (Psalm 1:2)
Behold Your God: Rethinking God Biblically, by Pastor John Snyder, has been a blessing to many. The women in our church are currently using this study, and the excerpts below are from Week 3, Day 4 of the Daily Devotional Workbook:
“The Christian approach to meditation is the opposite of that which is practiced in many other religions. Meditation is often thought of as the process of quieting and emptying one’s mind. But in Christianity, meditation is focused on filling the mind. Meditation means to muse, to think on, and to reflect.” (pg. 52)
Is biblical meditation important? Yes. The study quotes Christians who have understood this very important aspect of our walk with the Lord.
“Many are troubled if they omit a sermon, a time of public prayer, but you are never troubled that you have omitted meditation, perhaps all your lifetime to this very day.” (Richard Baxter)
“Faith is lean and ready to starve unless it be fed with continual meditation.” (Thomas Manton)
The Behold Your God Daily Devotional Workbook explains, “[Biblical]Meditation is simply the work of reading Bible truths slowly and thinking them over in our minds. Often this is mixed with prayer–talking with God about what He has said to us. It is the same idea as a cow chewing its cud. We take a truth, work it from every angle, chew it, come back to it later, talk to God about what it says, think about how it is connected with other things the Bible says on the same subject, and find a place in our lives for it.” (pg. 52)
Unfortunately, thousands and thousand of Christians now believe that Christian meditation involves blanking out the mind and entering a state known as the silence. This is known as contemplative prayer.
Lighthouse Trails and others have warned for a long time now that contemplative prayer (essentially the same as Eastern/New Age meditation but presented/disguised with Christian terminology) has infected the visible church.
It may well be that participation in contemplative prayer is the reason why Mike Bickle of International House of Prayer (see video), Rick Warren, and others are no longer able to distinguish the difference between Catholicism and biblical Christianity. Don’t kid yourself: This practice can have profound theological consequences.
Ray Yungen, author of A Time of Departing, warns, “Contemplative prayer is presenting a way to God identical with all the world’s mystical traditions. Christians are haplessly lulled into it by the emphasis on seeking the Kingdom of God and greater piety, yet the apostle Paul described the church’s end-times apostasy in the context of a mystical seduction. If this practice doesn’t fit that description, I don’t know what does.” (pg.140)
Perhaps if pastors and churches had truly understood, practiced, and emphasized biblical meditation, the infection of contemplative prayer could have been significantly lessened, or perhaps even prevented.