Well, we made it to the practical part! If you’ve landed here first, you might want to read the earlier posts in the series
Are you ready to actually practice biblical meditation? It’s an amazing gift that can help quiet the noise, calm your soul and lead you into greater intimacy with Jesus! Let’s dive in with an easy to follow Question & Answer format. And you’ll find some great FREEBIES to help you get started!
How do I choose a verse or passage?
- Choose something from your regular reading of Scripture.
Sometimes as you’re reading, something stands out. You can hear God speaking to your heart. Don’t just push through and keep on reading. Stop and spend time over the next days and weeks meditating on that passage.
- Use a verse that comes up over and over again.
This happened to me a few years ago. In the span of 2 weeks I heard the same verse 4 TIMES in various settings – a devotional, two messages, and a book. God was trying to get my attention and lead me to truths that my soul needed!
- Find a verse that speaks to where you are in life.
Are you struggling with a decision? Need to trust in God’s sovereignty? Looking for help in discipline? Want to love selflessly? Find a verse or passage that provides the truth your mind and soul need at this moment.
- Follow what God impresses on your heart.
This one is the least straightforward of these ideas. But sometimes God leads you repeatedly to a verse or passage that on the surface doesn’t mean much to you. If He is prompting you to return, stay with it and meditate on it until He reveals the truth you need.
What do I do?
To walk us through this answer, let’s review the definition we’ve been using for biblical meditation
Thinking Scripture in the context of your life and talking to Jesus about it
First, you need something to think about! Here are some ways that will help you unpack the truths of Scripture.
The steps outlined in this section are included in the above infographic.
- Reflect on the words and phrases
Identify which words are meaningful to you. They are most likely the ones your mind and soul need right now. These can form the foundation for the other ideas below.
- Look up definitions
Take the keywords you identified and look them up in a regular dictionary or a Bible dictionary. You might be surprised what some words actually mean! Write down any significant or new insights about the meaning of a word.
- Look for connections
Read the verse or passage repeatedly. As you do this slowly and think about the ideas there, you will notice parts that connect to each other. Maybe they reinforce the same idea in different ways. Maybe there is one truth that then leads into the reality of another truth.
- Read various translations
You can do this with Bibles you have at home or by using an online site. Seeing different words and phrases can often lead to new insights and truths to cling to.
Now you have some material to think about in an extensive and meaningful way! You are ready to think about these ideas and truths in the context of wherever you are in life right now.
You don’t have to think about all of these ideas at once! Just choose one to think about and mull over for a few days, or weeks, or maybe even longer. You want to stick with a passage until the truth becomes real in your heart and is worked into your life. You’re not trying to move quickly! Meditation is a slow, recurring process that extends itself over time.
Here are some questions to think about as you bring together the truth with your real life.
- What would this idea mean for you right now? How would you benefit from it?
- What would it look like in your life or specific situation if this was true?
- Are you living and reacting like you believe this to be true?
- How would your perspective or attitudes change if you believe these things were true?
As you are thinking in the context of your life, talk to Jesus about where you find yourself. Remember, this is how you grow in intimacy with Him. Share your hurts, your fears. Tell Him where you find yourself. Tell Him you trust Him to do in your life what you can’t do on your own. Listen for His voice in response to what you say. His voice will be gracious and kind, not condemning.
As you wrap up, identify a word or phrase to carry with you through the day. Something that you can quickly turn to when your soul is bombarded. Something you can pause & think about in order to fill your mind with truth.
How long does it take?
You should set aside 10-15 minutes a day as a concentrated time to work through the Scripture you have chosen. Neuroscience confirms that this amount of time is enough to actually rewire your brain!
Now, obviously, that’s not enough time to do all those things! But one day you can reflect on the words. Another day you look up one definition. Another day you read another translation. Each day you are focusing on one aspect, thinking deeply about it in relation to your life, and talking to Jesus about it. You can even focus on the same aspect or idea for several days.
In addition to this concentrated time, you will have numerous times throughout the day to fill your mind with this truth. Every time your soul is bombarded, every time you need a mental break, you will stand at a crossroads. In that moment you can choose to pause & think, filling your mind with truth. It can take 30 seconds or 2-3 minutes, just long enough to refocus your mind and heart and cry out for God to meet you right where you are.
How do I remember the Scripture / truth?
Much of this will happen naturally. If you’re thinking about one idea for 10-15 minutes, it tends to stay with you! But you can also
- Write down the truth in your planner, or somewhere else you will see during the day
- Copy the verse onto a 3×5 card or other paper
- Find Scripture art with the passage to print out or frame (4×6 sample below)
- Set the verse as your phone or computer wallpaper
- Leave your Bible out and open to the Scripture in a place you will pass by repeatedly
When and where should I meditate?
(Side note: The ideas here are not meant to be prescriptive OR exhaustive. DON’T wait until you have the perfect circumstances to practice biblical meditation. God is ready to meet you in your real life, right where you are!)
Ideally, the best place to practice biblical meditation is in a quiet place where you can think without interruption. Think about what you already do. You could meditate as you
- Go on a walk
- Drive to work
- Take a shower
- Feed a baby
- Fall asleep at night
- Have your quiet time
- Rock a little one to sleep
Maybe it even works best to find 20-30 minutes at the beginning of the week to do the work of unpacking the Scripture (reflecting, looking up definitions, making connections, reading other translations) and then make notes that you can use to meditate on during the week.
This post is extremely practical but let’s not forget the why behind biblical meditation.
God is ready to speak to you today, into your real-world life, wherever you may find yourself. It takes time and space to hear Him. It takes intentionality. It takes quieting the noise in your mind and heart. It takes pausing and thinking. It takes choosing the ancient path, the good way, and finding rest for your soul.
Meditation isn’t the only way to hear God. It’s not the only way to be in an intimate relationship with Him, but in the day and age in which we live, it is a rhythm of life that can help us. It can counteract this busy, plugged in culture in which we live. It can rewire your brain. It can bring rest to your weary soul that is being constantly bombarded.
And this is my prayer for you.
Are you ready to give it a try? Why don’t you try biblical meditation for the next 30 days? That’s long enough to establish a habit and long enough to see a change in your mind and your soul.
- Choose a verse or passage using one of the ideas in this post.
- Download and print the infographic included above. (Cardstock would work best if you have it.)
And you’re ready to go!