Christian meditation serves as an extension of prayer and assists me in keeping my mind focussed on God. More relaxed concentration benefits all areas of my life. Many distractions hit me daily and cause me to lose focus on God and the best of life. This practice of Christian meditation enables me to concentrate more easily and deeply on my most important priorities, tasks, goals, service, and relationships. With a relaxed mindset, I can hear others and God much more easily. Relationships with God and others improve. Even my work improves.
To prepare for Christian Meditation, memorize these short passages. Use the translation of your preference. I personally prefer the KJV because I seem to remember it best. These are from the Net Bible to avoid copyright issues with Zondervan.
Passages to provide steering thoughts for Christian meditation.
Steering thoughts serve as guard rails or tools to bring my mind back to my focus point during Christian meditation.
Psalm 131 O Lord, my heart is not proud,nor do I have a haughty look. I do not have great aspirations, or concern myself with things that are beyond me. Indeed I am composed and quiet, like a young child carried by its mother; I am content like the young child I carry. O Israel, hope in the Lord now and forevermore!
Psalm 18:2 The Lord is my high ridge, my stronghold, my deliverer. My God is my rocky summit where I take shelter, my shield, the horn that saves me, and my refuge.
Psalm 27:14 Rely on the Lord! Be strong and confident! Rely on the Lord!
Ps 103:11-12 For as the skies are high above the earth, so his loyal love towers over his faithful followers. As far as the eastern horizon is from the west, so he removes the guilt of our rebellious actions from us.
For best results, memorize them, so that throughout the day you can recall them and meditate on them. I think one or more of them over before I begin Christian meditation. Steering thoughts function to have a thought ready to fill in the space that a sudden distraction creates: a needed item from the grocery store, something I forgot, etc. They serve as a ready mental stop sign, “no, think this instead.”
To get ready for your time of Christian meditation, find a place preferably in the morning where you can be undisturbed for 20 to 30 minutes. Pick something to mentally focus on: the cross, the open tomb, a stone on a beach, a candle flame, a favorite flower. As you visualize this, begin breathing deeply drawing your diaphragm down and hearing your breath come in and go out. Remember to remove as many distractions as possible, especially television.
The Technique of Christian Meditation
As you breathe in, think “Je,” the first part of Jesus, breath out “sus.” Second breath in “is,” out “Lord.” Do this for about 20 minutes. When your mind wanders, use the passages you memorized to redirect and steer your mind back to your focus point for a state of Christian meditation. Every time your mind starts to stray, gently direct it back to your focus point. Be gently persistent. Don’ t give up. It takes practice to get the hang of this. Pushing hard or beating yourself up to concentrate will only make it harder, just gently steer your mind back to the focal object as if you were gently steering your car back to the middle of the road.
After a few weeks, maybe more, maybe less, this process will cause you to experience what some call the “relaxation experience.” With regular practice, you will be able to get to that point in two to three minutes or less. You can use it every time you start to tense up. This is the essence of Christian meditation.
What Happens During Transition to Effective Christian Meditation and Managing It
In the beginning and at other times, some of the things that keep pulling you away from your focus point will be things you will need to stop and pray about. As this “stuff” rises up in your mind, every time it does say “Lord I confess this….(feeling, fear, depression, loneliness, inadequacy, sin, etc.) please heal me.” He will. Expect amazing things. Confess however many times you need. For God it takes only once, but we frequently need the repetition to come to believe that he has dealt with it.
Treat the images and visualizations the same. When they come up, “Father please heal me of this and clear my head of of these memories, fill me with your Spirit…” Keep at it. In time it works.” Share this if it helps. For additional help, read the post Do Not Worry.