Meditation: The ability to hear God’s voice and respond

Lent_Letters_Closer

In the run up to Easter we are posting some reflections on Spiritual Disciplines – actually I prefer to think of them as ‘good habits for disciples.’

If you want some reading on this then do get hold of Richard Foster’s classic book Celebration of Discipline.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer was once asked why he meditated. He replied “because I’m a Christian”.
Meditation gets a bad press because it has become associated with Eastern and New Age spiritual practices. However even a cursory glance at the Bible shows that meditation is part of being a friend of God.
How about thinking of it like this: When you meditate you discover Jesus knocking at the door of your heart and find yourself opening the door and then sitting and eating with him (Revelation 3:20). Richard Foster says “Christian meditation, very simply, is the ability to hear God’s voice and follow” – that should ring a bell for all Kairos people!
Here is a quick overview of four types of Meditation (thanks to Richard Foster):
  1. Scripture – read a passage or verse. Enjoy phrases, particular words, conversations. See what you are drawn to ponder and think about.
  2. Re-Collection– bring to mind a situation or circumstance eg. An argument with someone, something you are anxious about. Hold your hands palm down to represent what you are giving to God (resentment or anger etc) then at some point later turn your palms towards to represent receiving from God.
  3. Creation – meditate on what you see, hear, smell and touch. Perhaps take a walk or sit overlooking a view. Have an internal conversation with God about his creation.
  4. Current Events – simply reflect prayerfully on current affairs, asking for insight and Godly understanding. Seek personal guidance on how you can be salt and light in relation to these things.
I find writing my prayer reflections, my impressions and Bible insights in a journal very helpful. Others sketch, write poetry or even doodle as ways of focusing. Lighting a candle, or playing some worship music is often a good way in. You don’t need hours – for many of us setting aside a few minutes every day intentionally is the best way to start and you can do this at work, in your home, at the side of the road.
Meditating is something I encourage you to keep growing in – learn your style of meditating, experiment with other styles. Don’t let what Foster calls the ‘muchness and manyness’ of life prevent you from drawing close to God.

Have a Great Week

Mark