The Forgotten Discipline Of Meditation

The Forgotten Discipline Of Meditation

We’re continuing our Women Living Well series this week on the topic of your walk with the King.  

“His delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night.” Psalm 1:2

I love how we are focusing this week on our walk with the King, and Courtney has done such a good job showing us the importance and value of making God’s word a priority in our lives.

I’d like to focus on meditation. It’s a critically important aspect of Bible intake that is too often neglected and ignored.

Much of our spiritual coldness is not because we aren’t “doing” but because we aren’t “dwelling.” It’s one thing to quickly read a verse or two and then run out the door never to think about it again. But in Col. 3 Paul tells the church to “set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.”  

Setting our mind on the things that are above is Meditation. Meditation is not an emptying of one’s mind, like some religions teach, but a filling of our minds with the truths of God’s word. It is to mull over the things we have read or the preaching we have heard. Meditation is basically preaching to yourself–reminding yourself of the things you are learning or have already learned.

As you read, pause frequently to meditate on the meaning of what you are reading. Absorb the Word into your system by dwelling on it, pondering it, going over it again and again in your mind, considering it from many different angles, until it becomes part of you.
-Nancy Leigh DeMoss

Reading and studying scripture can sometimes devolve into a mere work of the mind, but mediation is a work of the heart. It is taking what we have read and mulling it over and over until it takes root in our heart. Only then will it bring change.

“Squeeze every drip of nourishment out of the passage all day long through these short readings of Scripture. Meditate on God’s Word day and night, and you will soon find your life transformed by the renewing of your mind!” Courtney Joseph, Women Living Well

We are very quick to look for the practical application of scripture. This is great especially since we are called to obey. But sometimes the practical application of the scriptures that we read is not what we are to do, but how we are to think. This can be a bit trickier to learn and will take thought and time.

We are a forgetful people. We read scripture and we often forget what we read minutes after we read it. The busyness of life and the distractions of the world can crowd out the truth we read. This is where mediation will help us.

Without meditation, the truths of God will not stay with us. The heart is hard, and the memory slippery—and without meditation all is lost! As an hammer drives a nail to the head—so meditation drives a truth to the heart.
– Thomas Watson

We often think that we need to cut out big chunks of time in order to meditate on God’s word. While it would be great if we could do that, there are other times in our day when we can do the work of meditation.

1. When we are getting ready for the day

Instead of letting our thoughts run to all the things we need to do for the day we should use that time to think on the the verses we have read or sermons we have listened to. This can be done in the shower or while we are getting ready.

2. When we are sitting down to eat.

At least three times a day we sit and eat. This is a great time to meditate on the provision of God in our lives. How has God blessed you and what does the scripture say about God’s care for you?

3. When we are driving

We spend a lot of time in the car: driving to work, driving the kids to school, and running errands. This is a wonderful time to meditate on the truths of God that you studied during our quiet time. To examine those verses in your mind from every angle and to ask God to help them take root in your heart.

4. When you are going to sleep

The wonderful thing about meditating on God’s word is that your can do it in the dark with your eyes closed! Think about the power of God. The fact that he gave you every breath you breathed that day, that he is the one who will give you sleep and he will be the one to wake you again in the morning. Don’t let yourself worry about the next day, but focus on the day you just had. Repent of sins committed, thank God for all the good things in your day and all the hard things he brought you through.

Meditation has been given to us as a means of letting the word of God dwell richly in us leading to a deeper knowledge of God, a stronger faith, and our ongoing transformation into the image of our dear Savior.

The Scripture is a love letter which the great God has written to us. We must not run it over in haste—but meditate upon God’s wisdom in writing, and his love in sending it to us.
-Thomas Watson


Jen Torn



Jen Thorn and her husband, Joe, live in IL with their 4 children. She loves studying theology, reading the Puritans, and has a passion for horchata and all things chocolate. Jen blogs at JenThorn.com as well as goodmorninggirls.org. Follow her on Twitter @jenlthorn and Facebook.

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  • Ablessedmama

    This post hit home today. I rarely meditate on God’s truths. I try to take too much in at a time with studies I try to do coupled with the blogs I’m subscribed too. Then I become overwhelmed with all that I need to work on and focus on. Eventually I just give up because it’s too much to take in and try to work on at once. Does this make sense? Thank you for the ideas of when to meditate and the encouragement of knowing that I’m not the only one who forgets what I’ve read minutes later. I do write scripture on notecards sometimes, which helps as well. Any advice on spiritual organization would be helpful.

    • Jennifer Thorn

      You are not alone. I am overloaded by information all the time and need to remind myself often to cut back. It is better to take a whole year to study through one book of the Bible and know if well, than to read through the whole Bible and remember next to nothing.

  • Shana Wedel

    Thanks for a beautiful article!! It is amazing to me how when you are pondering on something,the Holy Spirit lets you hear those same things all around you via conversation,nature,etc.and all of a sudden you “see” another truth revealed!

    • Jennifer Thorn

      We totally miss out on that when we don’t let the word of God sink in. I think our biggest challenge is learning to slow down in our minds and in our studies and really mull things over.

  • Sharon Piatt

    Thanks for the reminder to meditate in the midst of my busyness rather than waiting for life to slow down-which rarely happens! My prayer today is that I would delight in His law. (Psalm 1.2)

  • Crystal Storms

    “As an hammer drives a nail to the head—so meditation drives a truth to the heart.” – I love this quote by Thomas Watson. For myself the best way to meditate on God’s Word is memorization. Right now I am working on Philippians. And as I recite the verses over and over in my head, their truth pierces my heart!

  • Heather @ My Overflowing Cup

    This is such a great reminder as the word “meditation” usually conjures visions of monks and Buddah, but it is simply thinking about and pondering. What better to meditate on than God’s word? It brings to mind Phil. 4:8. You offered such great tips for when and how to do this. Often, during these times, I find my mind wandering on random topics and I will capture my thoughts and focus them on the goodness of God. It has really changed me for the better. Thanks for the great post!

  • Mothering From Scratch

    {Kathy} I couldn’t agree with you more regarding the practice of Christ-centered meditation. Thank you for explaining the difference between this and other traditional practices. It’s such an important component for spiritual well-being.

  • Katie Hamilton

    I really enjoyed and was edified by this article <3 I had the privilege of being sent to camp as our church kids’ sponsor (not a counselor, but like the youth group leader—the church’s presence there for the kids if they needed me or anything went wrong) because our youth pastor was unable to go. The evangelist that week who spoke to our Teens preached on meditating on God’s Word, and he explained it as how it compares to a cow ruminating it’s cud. He would draw out the “Mmmmm” at the beginning of the word, like a cow ‘moo-ing’ and it was hysterical, because during the testimony service, nearly every teen said it that way. Our teens will probably NEVER hear or say that word the same way again, yet, it was such a good illustration! 😀