Imagine it: an individual seated on the floor, legs crossed, eyes closed, deep in a state of oblivion to outer surroundings. Perhaps she vocalizes something, softly and repeatedly. For many of us, this is the image the term “meditation” evokes. Many people associate meditation with eastern religion and are not likely to assume he or she is Christian. In my research I have not found any ties with a particular type of religion when it comes to meditation. It is simply the exercise of physical stillness and release of outer distractions.
I think the hard thing is that humans are, by nature, practical beings, and Christians in result-driven American culture are even more so than our brothers and sisters around the world. Our prayers often focus on tangible reality: We express our needs or wants; we express thanks or we ask for forgiveness. In all these cases, our prayers center around the events in our and others’ lives.
The Hebrew society believes that deep meditation and intimate knowledge of God brings one to love Him. For me, I believe Christian meditation aims to simply spend time in the presence of the Almighty. For those of us accustomed to expecting measurable results from any use of our time, such focus may seem innately unsatisfying. What are we getting out of our prayers if we aren’t concentrating on what we and God can achieve? But ironically, contemplative prayer may be the most “productive” type of prayer Christians can engage in. We regularly pray, “Thy will be done,” but how do we know what “Thy will” is without hearing God’s leadings? It is in the release of our own agendas that the “still small voice” experienced by Elijah (1 Kings 19:12) can be heard. Christian meditation may provide a means to hear the Voice we seek. So go hide in a closet, sit and wait to hear from the voice of God.
Kenny Barrett - Creative Arts Pastor