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How can I meditate on Scripture?

Letting the Word of God dwell in your life

4 min

The words of Scripture are living words. (See Hebrews 4:12.) Meditation allows God’s Word to live in your heart and enables Scripture to become a personal conversation between you and the Lord. Jesus promised, “If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you [live in you], ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples” (John 15:7–8).

The Apostle Paul said, “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom” (Colossians 3:16). Meditation on Scripture will cause God’s Word to “dwell in you richly,” and His Word will become a source of wisdom for your mind, will, and emotions. 

Today many forms of meditation exist, particularly those associated with Eastern religions. Those Eastern religious forms are not what the Bible refers to as meditation. The most crucial difference between the meditation promoted by Eastern religions and meditation as a discipline that God commands is that Eastern meditation is practiced in order to empty the mind, and Biblical meditation is practiced with the goal of filling the believer’s mind, spirit, and soul with the Word of God. 

Eastern meditation is practiced in order to empty the mind, and Biblical meditation is practiced with the goal of filling the believer’s mind, spirit, and soul with the Word of God. 

Biblical meditation cannot be done in a hurry. It takes time. As you read your Bible each day, the Lord will guide you to select a passage of Scripture for meditation. Doing studies on the meaning of the passage and committing the verse(s) to memory prepares you to meditate on it. As you meditate, the Holy Spirit will teach you different aspects of the ways of God through His Word. (See John 16:13.) 

Here is a suggested approach to help you begin meditating on the Word of God:

Worship God in Your Spirit

When you became a Christian, God’s Spirit entered your spirit and confirmed salvation. According to John 4:24, “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.” Your times of meditation should be times of worship and fellowship with God. Begin by worshipping God in your spirit as you quote God’s Word to Him. Receive God’s Word, agree with it, reverence it, and purpose to “do according to all that is written therein” (Joshua 1:8). 

Personalize the Passage

Next, turn the memorized Scripture into a first-person conversation with God. Personalize the passage by putting it in the first person, using I, me, and my. For example, Colossians 3:16 could be personalized by saying, “Let the word of Christ dwell in me richly in all wisdom.” When you put Scripture in the first person, the words of God become a living expression of your heart and mind.

Give Attention to Each Word of Each Verse

Now, after adoring God and then personalizing Scripture to appreciate His intense love and interest in you, continue your prayer, focusing on one verse at a time. Quote this verse to the Lord, taking time to ponder each word. Repeat the verse again to God, emphasizing a different word to ponder. For example, if you are meditating on John 3:16, give attention to a different word each time you repeat the passage, like this:

  • For God so loved the world . . . .”
  • “For God so loved the world . . . .”
  • “For God so loved the world . . . .”
  • “For God so loved the world . . . .”
  • “For God so loved the world . . . .”
  • “For God so loved the world . . . .”

Meditation involves a quiet reflection upon the words of Scripture, accompanied with mindful contemplation. As a passage is repeated to the Lord in this way, and as you hear the words of the passage you’re quoting and consider each emphasized word, the Holy Spirit will begin to give insights that can easily be missed by simply reading the verse. You will also start to discern nuances and associations that are often overlooked when the passage is read silently.

Illustrate the Main Concepts within the Passage

God formulated concepts to bring order and direct our lives. As you memorize and meditate on a Scripture passage, look for Biblical concepts, principles, and patterns. Sometimes drawing simple illustrations with stick figures and symbols next to the verses can help you remember the main ideas of the passage. Not only will the actual creation of the illustration help you further meditate on the meaning of the passage, but your illustration can serve as a simple summary of what the Lord taught you through meditation on His Word.

Meditate on Scripture as You Go to Sleep at Night

One of the most critical times to meditate on God’s Word is as you go to sleep each night. In Scripture, many references mention meditating on Scripture at this time. (See Joshua 1:8, Psalm 1:2, 63:6, and 119:148.)

The quiet moments of preparing for sleep offer an ideal setting for contemplation and fellowship with the Lord. The thoughts that are on your mind as you go to sleep will be in your subconscious mind all through the night. They will strongly influence your attitudes the next day, consciously or subconsciously.

Respond to God as He Teaches You

As you meditate, don’t be discouraged if you have to go over the passage several times before insights come to mind. When God reveals an insight to you, pray it back to Him and ask Him for the grace to apply that truth in your life. Then, if the Holy Spirit convicts you of sin in your life, confess it to the Lord and be forgiven. Or, the Lord may show you a promise you can claim, an attitude you need to change, or an example you should follow. Remember that the goal of meditation on God’s Word is to fill your heart, mind, and soul with the mind of Christ, so you may walk in a manner pleasing to God.

While meditation on Scripture brings many forms of blessing into our lives, the greatest blessing is God Himself. As we meditate on the written Word, we fellowship with the living Word, Jesus Christ.

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