Last night I had the privilege of addressing the Ministry Wives Institute at Puritan Reformed Seminary on the Motives and Method of meditation. Here’s the outline:
Ten Motives to Meditation
1. It stops sin: If we hide God’s Word in our heart it will stop sin at its roots (Ps. 119:11).
2. It starts good: Meditation on the Bible’s practical exhortations and commands reminds us of our Christian duties. What we think about is what we eventually do (Prov. 23:7).
3. It guides and refreshes prayer: Meditation on verses of Scripture opens up new topics and areas for prayer.
4. It turns sleeplessness into a blessing: The Psalmist turned the “wasted” hours of insomnia into a soul-enriching feast (Ps. 63:5-6).
5. It uses time well: It is a far more profitable than, say, watching the TV. It will also make you happier (Ps. 1:1-3)
6. It makes you ready to witness: By filling our hearts with God and His Word we will be much more ready to give an answer to every man that asks a reason for the hope that we have (1 Pet. 3:15).
7. It helps you in fellowship: You can edify others in fellowship because you can propose a verse for discussion and give some thoughts upon it.
8. It increases communion with God: God meets with His people through the Scriptures. A person who never thinks on Scripture will never meet and walk with God.
9. It revives spiritual life: To be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace (Rom.8:6).
10. It has many scriptural precedents and examples (Ps. 19:14; 39:3; 77:12): My meditation of him shall be sweet: I will be glad in the LORD (Ps. 104:34).
Ten Step Method of Meditation
1. Limit: Set apart no more than 5-10 minutes to begin with, and start with one short verse or part of a verse.
2. Vary: Some days chose a theological verse, others a practical or devotional text.
3. Write: Write the text on a small index card, and put it in a place you will come across regularly (purse or pocket?).
4. Memorize: Memorize the text in 2-3 word blocks by saying it out loud. Set specific times in the day to recall verse (coffee/meal times).
5. Focus: Pick out the key words and look them up in a dictionary (English or Bible). Substitute some words with parallel meanings or even opposite meanings.
6. Question: Interrogate the verse (who, what, where, when, why, how?).
7. Explain: Think about how would you explain the verse to a child or someone with no Christian background.
8. Pray: Use the verse in prayer (worship, confession, thanks, petition).
9. Review: File the cards and every Sunday read them and test your memory of them.
10. Do: Not just an intellectual exercise but let it lead to practice (believe, repent, hope, love, etc.).