What does the Bible say about meditation?
There are many forms of meditation throughout the world. The word ‘meditate’ is even found in Scripture. It is vital that we have a Biblical world view to define this word, and not use a Buddhist definition.
Christian quotes about meditation
“Fill your mind with God’s Word and you will have no room for Satan’s lies.”
“The important aim in Christian meditation is to allow God’s mysterious and silent presence within us to become more and more not only a reality but the reality which gives meaning, shape and purpose to everything we do, everything we are.” — John Main
“When you cease from labour, fill up your time in reading, meditation, and prayer: and while your hands are labouring, let your heart be employed, as much as possible, in divine thoughts.” David Brainerd
“Give yourself to prayer, to reading and meditation on divine truths: strive to penetrate to the bottom of them and never be content with a superficial knowledge.” David Brainerd
“By meditating on Scripture you are transformed into the person God intends you to be. Meditation is a blend of your words to God and His Word to you; it is loving conversation between you and God through the pages of His Word. It is absorption of His words into your mind by prayerful contemplation and concentration.” Jim Elliff
“The most important thing I had to do was to read the Word of God and to meditate on it. Thus my heart might be comforted, encouraged, warned, reproved, and instructed.” George Muller
“The more you read the Bible; and the more you meditate on it, the more you will be astonished with it.” Charles Spurgeon
“When we find a man meditating on the words of God, my friends, that man is full of boldness and is successful.” Dwight L. Moody
“We can have the mind of Christ when we meditate on the Word of God.” Crystal McDowell
“Meditation is the tongue of the soul and the language of our spirit; and our wandering thoughts in prayer are but the neglects of meditation and recessions from that duty; according as we neglect meditation, so are our prayers imperfect, – meditation being the soul of prayer and the intention of our spirit.” Jeremy Taylor
“Take this as the secret of Christ’s life in you: His Spirit dwells in your innermost spirit. Meditate on it, believe in it, and remember it until this glorious truth produces within you a holy fear and wonderment that the Holy Spirit indeed abides in you!” Watchman Nee
“Meditation is a help to knowledge; thereby your knowledge is raised. Thereby your memory is strengthened. Thereby your hearts are warmed. Thereby you will be freed from sinful thoughts. Thereby your hearts will be tuned to every duty. Thereby you will grow in grace. Thereby you will fill up all the chinks and crevices of your lives, and know how to spend your spare time, and improve that for God. Thereby you will draw good out of evil. And thereby you will converse with God, have communion with God, and enjoy God. And I pray, is not here profit enough to sweeten the voyage of your thoughts in meditation?” William Bridge
“The word meditate as used in the Old Testament literally means to murmur or to mutter and, by implication, to talk to oneself. When we meditate on the Scriptures we talk to ourselves about them, turning over in our minds the meanings, the implications, and the applications to our own lives.” Jerry Bridges
“Without meditation, the truth of God will not stay with us. The heart is hard, and the memory is slippery—and without meditation, all is lost! Meditation imprints and fastens a truth in the mind. As a hammer drives a nail to the head—so meditation drives a truth to the heart. Without meditation the Word preached or read may increase notion, but not affection.”
What is Christian meditation?
Christian meditation has nothing to do with the emptying of our minds, nor does it have anything to do with focusing hard on yourself and what surrounds you – quite the opposite. We are to take our focus off of ourselves and focus our whole minds attention to the Word of God.
1. Psalm 19:14 “May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart
be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.”
2. Psalm 139:17-18 “How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered! 18 I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up, you are still with me!”
3. Psalm 119:127 “Truly, I love your commands more than gold, even the finest gold.”
4. Psalm 119:15-16 “I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways. I will delight in your statutes; I will not forget your word.”
Meditating on God’s Word day and night
God’s Word is alive. It is the only truth we can completely rely upon. God’s Word needs to be the center of our worldview, our thoughts, our actions. We have to read it and study it – deeply. We have to sit and ponder over what we have read. That is meditating.
5. Joshua 1:8 “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.”
6. Philippians 4:8 “In conclusion, my friends, fill your minds with those things that are good and that deserve praise: things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, and honorable.”
7. Psalm 119:9-11 “How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word. With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments! I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.”
8. Psalm 119:48-49 “I will lift up my hands to Your commands, which I love, and will meditate on Your statutes. 49 Remember Your word to Your servant; You have given me hope through it.”
9. Psalm 119:78-79 “May the arrogant be put to shame for subverting me with a lie; I will meditate on Your precepts. 79 May those who fear you turn to me, those who understand your statutes. 80 May I wholeheartedly follow your decrees, that I may not be put to shame. 81 My soul faints with longing for your salvation, but I have put my hope in your word.”
10. Psalm 119:15 “I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways.”
11. Psalm 119:105-106 “Your word is a lamp for my feet and a light for my path. 106 I took an oath, and I will keep it. I took an oath to follow your regulations, which are based on your righteousness.”
12. Psalm 1:1-2 “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, or stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night.”
Memorizing and Meditating on Scripture
Scripture memorization is essential in the life of a Christian. Memorizing the Bible will help you to know the Lord better and grow in your intimacy with Him. When we expose our minds to the Bible not only will we grow in the Lord, but we will also help to keep our minds centered on Christ. Other reasons to memorize Scripture are to transform your prayer life, avoid the schemes of Satan, receive encouragement, and more.
13. Colossians 3:16 “Let Christ’s word with all its wisdom and richness live in you. Use psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to teach and instruct yourselves about God’s kindness.Sing to God in your hearts.”
14. Matthew 4:4 “But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.”
15. Psalm 49:3 “My mouth shall speak wisdom; the meditation of my heart shall be understanding.”
16. Psalm 63:6 “When I remember you upon my bed, and meditate on you in the watches of the night.”
17. Proverbs 4:20-22 “My son, be attentive to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. Let them not escape from your sight; keep them within your heart. For they are life to those who find them, and healing to all their flesh.”
18. Psalm 37:31 “They have made God’s law their own, so they will never slip from his path.”
The power of prayer and meditation
Pray before and after you read Scripture
Another way of meditating according to the Bible is to pray before you read scripture. We are to be completely immersed in Scripture. We learn about God and are changed by His Word. It is so easy to grab your phone and read a verse and think that you’re good for the day. But that’s not quite it.
We need to take a moment to pray – to praise the Lord for providing His Word, to pray that He calms our hearts and help us to understand what we are reading. We need to pray that we are changed by what we read so that we can become more transformed into the image of Christ.
19. Psalm 77:6 “I said, “Let me remember my song in the night; let me meditate in my heart.” Then my spirit made a diligent search.”
20. Psalm 119:27 “Make me understand the way of your precepts, and I will meditate on your wondrous works.”
21. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 “Always be joyful. 17 Always keep on praying. 18 No matter what happens, always be thankful, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.”
22. 1 John 5:14 “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us.”
23. Hebrews 4:12 “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”
24. Psalm 46:10 “He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”
25. Matthew 6:6 “But when you pray, go away by yourself, all alone, and shut the door behind you and pray to your Father secretly, and your Father, who knows your secrets, will reward you.”
26. 1 Timothy 4:13-15 “Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching. Do not neglect the gift you have, which was given you by prophecy when the council of elders laid their hands on you. Practice these things, immerse yourself in them, so that all may see your progress.”
Meditate on God’s faithfulness and love
Another aspect of meditation is meditating on God’s faithfulness and love. It is so easy to get busy and to neglect to grasp the reality of how much He loves us and the assurance that we have within His faithfulness. God is faithful. He will never disregard His promises.
27. Psalm 33:4-5 “For the word of the Lord is upright, And all His work is done in faithfulness. 5 He loves righteousness and justice; The earth is full of the lovingkindness of the Lord.”
28. Psalm 119:90 “Your faithfulness continues through all generations; You established the earth, and it endures.”
29. Psalm 77:11 “I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your wonders of old.”
30. Psalm 119:55 “I remember your name in the night, O Lord, and keep your law.”
31. Psalm 40:10 “I have not hidden Your righteousness within my heart; I have spoken of Your faithfulness and Your salvation; I have not concealed Your lovingkindness and Your truth from the great congregation.”
Meditate on the great works of God
We can spend many, many hours pondering the great works of the Lord. He has done so much for us – and so many magnificent things throughout all of creation to proclaim His glory. Meditating on the things of the Lord was a common topic for the Psalmist.
32. Psalm 111:1-3 “Praise the Lord! I will give thanks to the Lord with all my heart, In the company of the upright and in the assembly. 2 Great are the works of the Lord; They are studied by all who delight in them. 3 Splendid and majestic is His work, And His righteousness endures forever.”
33. Revelation 15:3 “and they sang the song of God’s servant Moses and of the Lamb: “Great and wonderful are Your works, O Lord God Almighty! Just and true are Your ways, O King of the nations!”
34. Romans 11:33 “O, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable His judgments, and untraceable His ways!”
35. Psalm 90:16-17 “May your deeds be shown to your servants, your splendor to their children. 17 May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us; establish the work of our hands for us– yes, establish the work of our hands.”
36. Psalm 119:97 “Oh how I love your law! It is my meditation all the day.”
37. Psalm 143:5 “I remember the days of old; I meditate on all that you have done; I ponder the work of your hands.”
38. Psalm 77:12 “I will ponder all your work, and meditate on your mighty deeds.”
Meditating on God Himself
But above all, we must make sure that we find time to meditate on God Himself. He is so amazing and so beautiful. God is infinitely HOLY and perfect – and we are merely finite pieces of dust. Who are we that He should lavish His love upon us so mercifully? God is so gracious.
39. Psalm 104:34 “May my meditation be pleasing to him, for I rejoice in the Lord.”
40. Isaiah 26:3 “The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace, Because he trusts in You.”
41. Psalm 77:10-12 “Then I said, “I will appeal to this, to the years of the right hand of the Most High.” I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your wonders of old. I will ponder all your work, and meditate on your mighty deeds.”
42. Psalm 145:5 “On the glorious splendor of your majesty, and on your wondrous works, I will meditate.”
43. Psalm 16:8 “I have set the LORD always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.”
Meditating on the Bible brings spiritual growth
Spending time meditating on God and on His Word is one way that we progress in sanctification. God’s word is our spiritual food – and you have to have food to grow. Meditating allows it to seep in deeper and transform us even more than if we read it quickly and fleetingly.
44. Psalm 119:97-99 “Oh how I love your law! It is my meditation all the day. Your commandment makes me wiser than my enemies, for it is ever with me. I have more understanding than all my teachers, for your testimonies are my meditation.”
45. Psalm 4:4 “Be angry, and do not sin; ponder in your own hearts on your beds, and be silent.”
46. Psalm 119:78 “Let the insolent be put to shame, because they have wronged me with falsehood; as for me, I will meditate on your precepts.”
47. Psalm 119:23 “Though rulers sit together and slander me, your servant will meditate on your decrees. 24 Your statutes are my delight; they are my counselors.”
48. Romans 12:2 “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
49. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.”
50. Romans 10:17 “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.”
How beautiful and precious is the concept of Biblical Meditation. It isn’t the Buddhist principal of Mindfulness nor is it a similar Buddhist principal of emptying your mind of all things. Biblical Meditation is filling yourself and your mind with knowledge of God.