It’s a word we usually associate with other religions such as Buddhism or Hinduism. As an American who is highly influenced by Hollywood, my first (incorrect) thought is of a monk sitting alone in a temple and chanting quietly.

Meditation however, is not exclusive to Eastern religions, and this should certainly not be our perspective of it! The bible actually says that we should practice it on a regular basis. Unfortunately, this is largely ignored in Christianity today. It clashes pretty heavily with our cultural tendency to fill our schedules and “be productive”, so Christians don’t always see it as a priority.

Even in our devotions I think we can feel rushed to read a lot of scripture, take a lot of notes, and pray for many prayer requests. I’m certainly not knocking any of those behaviors, but I am simply suggesting that if you feel hurried or burdened to check off all the boxes, meditation is an alternative that is equally effective in drawing closer to God. Here are a couple examples from scripture.

Oh, the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or stand around with sinners, or join in with mockers. But they delight in the law of the Lord, meditating on it day and night. They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season. Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do.
Psalm 1:1-3

This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.
Joshua 1:8

Meditation simply means to think deeply and focus your mind. I think this can best be accomplished when we stop thinking about the next thing, and just dwell on the current thing. Pick a specific passage of scripture, or a specific thing you want to thank God for and stay focused on it. Be purposeful about not moving on to another area of thought. It could look like this:

Read a short passage of scripture.

Reflect on it.

Read it again.

Think about how you can apply it.

Pray about it.

Exhaust all avenues of thought about the scripture. Let it permeate all the areas of your life.

Thank God for it.

Meditate on it.