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Can Christians meditate?
Thank you for contacting us with your interesting question. Meditation is indeed an acceptable Christian practice which can be of real benefit as we pray and read the scriptures.
The problem is that there are forms of meditation which are connected with pagan religion and the occult as well as with New Age practices. We need to be clear about what is a right and wholesome way to meditate and what is potentially deceptive and mentally, emotionally and spiritually harmful. Meditation is not wrong; certain methods of meditation are wrong.
We do not need to induce experiences of a supernatural kind. We have a supernatural God and our need is to pursue Him in a Biblical way. This will lead us into wholesome spiritual experiences. He certainly does want us experience Him. The Bible reveals that He wants us to know Him intimately and such knowledge is not merely intellectual.
"And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent." (John 17:3)
Paul wrote that his great ambition was that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings. (Philippians 3:10).
We know our close family and friends, not because we have been taught all about them by a textbook, but because we have spent time with them and have experienced their friendship and companionship. I have been married for 49 years and, as a couple, we know each other very well because we have experienced the love, companionship and care of our partner. It is wonderful and life-changing to know God by experience. This kind of supernatural experience does not have to be induced by techniques or mind-games; it is the natural outflowing of knowing God by faith, through His Word and by prayer and meditation. It is the opposite of occult experience, which is all about probing into the supernatural for personal power and advantage. Knowing God is about turning away from self to honour Him, the One who is infinitely greater and holier than ourselves. This turning to Him is transformational.
I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. 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. (Romans 12:1-2)
We know that we need to be transformed, yet we can fail to do what is needed to achieve transformation - to spend time with Him.
Christian meditation is simply to take time to memorise and think about Bible passages and Christian truths. We live in a fast-moving and stressful culture and many people struggle to find a few minutes to read scripture and offer a prayer or two to God. When we commit to meditating on God's Word, we acknowledge that we need to make absorbing Christian truth and getting to know God our top priority.
Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: "I am the Lord your God, who teaches you to profit, who leads you in the way you should go." (Isaiah 48:17)
He will teach us if we spend time listening.
Meditation can mean something as simple as singing a simple Biblical song or chorus over and over until its truth penetrates deep within us. Singing can take us into God's presence.
It can mean reading a verse or short passage of scripture slowly and with intense concentration, perhaps memorising it, taking its meaning deep into our consciousness.
It can mean that when we pray, we do not merely bring our requests to God, but worship Him, meditating on His character and goodness and listening for His answers to our heart's cry.
In short, it is making God central in our lives and setting our other concerns in perspective. We learn to see that He is big and they are small, at least relative to His greatness.
In summary, there is a difference between the meditation of the world and meditation found in Christianity. Christians can meditate because it is all about God; thinking about him and his truths. I encourage you to read the scriptures and spend time thinking about God.
I do hope this general answer to your question goes some way to helping you find peace with God through Jesus Christ our Lord. If you want to know more about what Jesus has done for you please watch the video on the main part of our site: www.lookingforGod.com
In closing, I want to encourage you to get more involved with your local church. It would be good to speak to a Christian leader or another trusted church individual regarding your question. I know they would be delighted to further answer you as well as offer prayer and support as you continue your spiritual journey: www.lookingforgod.com/churchfinder
Please use our Interactive Answer Matrix and feel free to ask another question. Our helpful staff are praying for you and waiting to try and answer to you from the Bible, and will be delighted to tell you more about Jesus Christ the Lord, the Saviour of the world. www.lookingforgod.com/your-questions
*All Scripture references are taken From The English Standard Version of the Holy Bible unless stated otherwise
*If anything in this answer affects you directly, then please feel free to call our confidential prayer line in the UK on 0845 4567729, where trained Christian volunteers will take your call and pray both for you and with you. If you are outside of the UK then you may submit your request for prayer on line at www.ucb.co.uk/prayerline
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