Jesus Christ
Growing in Christ - Meditation

"He opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures." Luke 24:45

What is Meditative Prayer?

Meditation is not the emptying of one's mind and spirit to see what may enter, as taught in some circles. Rather Christian meditation is the filling of one's mind and spirit with the God of the Bible who entered the world redemptively in Jesus Christ..

"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

What exactly is meditative prayer? It is not a New Age type of prayer. It rather helps us pray the Word and meditate or think upon it.
In Hebrew tradition, to meditate upon the Scriptures is to quietly repeat them, giving oneself entirely to God, and abandoning outside distractions.
The two main things that we are told to meditate on are God's Word and God's goodness:

"Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me-put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you" - Philippians 4: 8-9
We see the difference between the task orientated and contemplative Jesus-focussed Christian life illustrated in the story of Mary and Martha in Luke 10:38-42. Mary sat at the feet of Jesus and heard His word, while Martha was distracted with much serving. Jesus said that Mary had chosen the best thing because she sat at His feet and was not distracted. It does not mean avoid the "kitchen", it just means that there are times and opportunities when we have to pause, sit down and listen without the distractions of normal life. Then we can continue again in the matters of daily responsibility.

Meditative prayer is exactly this, sitting at the feet of Jesus and hearing and listening to His words. We must allow time to let the Lord speak to us through meditating on Him and His word in prayer.
Guidelines for meditative prayer

Schedule it. You have to schedule times of meditation upon the Word of God. Try to spend at least 30 minutes once a week in meditation. You can do it while driving to work or on public transport, or take a walk over the weekend, perhaps on a Sunday afternoon; sit down in a public park, next to a dam, or in a garden etc.
Designate a quiet place. In a world full of distractions, we need a quiet place where we can allow God to speak to us. The most effective place to pray is where you are least likely to be disturbed.
Give yourself at least 30 minutes. Many people only spend a few minutes each day in prayer. Very few people actually spend time in meditative prayer. It takes time to drown out the cares of the world, sit, prayerfully meditate on God's Word, and then allow Him to speak to us.
Choose a Scripture on which to prayerfully meditate. Prayerfully select a passage of Scripture that is especially meaningful to you. Let it either focus on the goodness of God, the promises of God, or the worship of God. You can start by using the above Scripture from Philippians 4:8. Rewrite the verse on paper or in your journal. Underline some words that stand out to you. Write them underneath each other, leaving some lines open for your notes.
Allow God to speak to you. This is the hardest part. Many people never hear the Lord speak to them simply because they don't allow Him to. We need to sit and listen for the voice of the Lord. Samuel was open to hearing from the Lord. (1 Samuel 3). He said, "Speak, for Your servant is listening." The most effective way to capture what the Lord is saying to us is to write down what we experience He is telling us. Now prayerfully wait upon the Lord to speak to you about each word you underlined and make notes. You can look up cross references from a concordance if you want more clarity on what the Bible says elsewhere about these topics. It might be that you sometimes wonder whether it really was Him telling you these things or your own thoughts. In time it will become clearer.
Conclude with thanksgiving and prayer. It is important to speak to the Lord now regarding the matters He has shown us. You can start by asking for each aspect He has shown you to be formed in your inner man, the image of Christ in your mind, heart, and soul. Ask for Him to make you more sensitive for the voice of the Spirit of God and become more obedient. Then conclude your time of meditation by giving thanks to the Lord for His Word, for being faithful and for touching your heart with His living Word.

Taken from the Jericho Walls Prayer Guide March - May 2013