I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways (Psalm 119:15 ESV)
While meditation is a tenant of Eastern religions, Christianity also embraces the practice. The difference is the “goal” of meditation. We’re not seeking to blend our minds and souls into some cosmic force. Instead, God instructs us to meditate on his Word in order to become more like Him.
Getting still enough to meditate is difficult for most people given our distractions and hurried lifestyle. It’s also difficult “not” to think about something as we try to quiet our minds and hearts. Recently, I’ve experimented with a practice I call “Focus Words” in my daily quiet time.
After a time of praise and thanksgiving, I choose a word that represents God’s character or attributes of a Christian life such as Joy, Hope, Peace, Holy, etc. I like to use colored pencils and so I write that word in the middle of page in my journal. As I focus on the word, I begin to write thoughts, impressions and sometimes scriptures that come to me. It can be freestyle or like a web with connecting lines out from the center. Following are a couple of examples.
Focus Word: JOY–From there I wrote my thoughts about the word: deeper than circumstance; dispels anxiety & fear; emotions are not the source of joy—the Holy Spirit is; emotions are a by-product of joy; God gives us an unlimited supply of joy; doing for others brings us joy; it’s like a well of water bubbling up from inside us. I ended my meditation by praying for joy for myself and others on my prayer list.
Focus Word: PEACE–Some days my Focus Word has led me to dig into the Scriptures or do deeper study on the topic. Looking up synonyms for “peace” I found “accord, harmony, amity, calm, quiet, tranquility, order, stability, heart-ease. “Heart-ease” was interesting, so I looked that up to discover it means “peace of mind.” It means “freedom from disquieting or oppressive thoughts.” It’s God’s divine antidote when we feel overwhelmed by people, circumstances or the devil. God must consider it to be important, for the word “Peace” is used 429 times in the KJV of the Bible!
Focus Words are a great visual aid to pray for yourself or others when you need a prayer boost. Go through your daily Focus Word exercises and use the precepts, scriptures, etc. to pray.
(This blog first appeared at Gabbin