Growing in Christ

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

What is Meditation?

Meditation is not the emptying of one's mind and spirit to see what may enter, as commonly 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.

J. I. Packer expresses this well in
his book Knowing God:

"How can we turn our knowledge about God into knowledge of God? The rule for doing this is demanding, but simple. It is that we turn each truth that we learn about God into matter for meditation before God, leading to prayer and praise to God.

We have some idea, perhaps, what prayer is, but what is meditation? Well may we ask; for meditation is a lost art today, and Christian people suffer grievously from their ignorance of the practice. Meditation is the activity of calling to mind, and thinking over, and dwelling on, and applying to oneself, the various things that one knows about the works and ways and purposes and promises of God. It is an activity of holy thought, consciously performed in the presence of God, under the eye of God, by the help of God, as a means of communion with God. It's purpose is to clear one's mental and spiritual vision of God, and to let His truth make its full and proper impact on one's mind and heart. It is a matter of talking to oneself about God and oneself; it is, indeed, often a matter of arguing with oneself, reasoning oneself out of moods of doubt and unbelief into a clear apprehension of God's power and grace. Its effect is ever to humble us, as we contemplate God's greatness and glory, and our own littleness and sinfulness, and to encourage and reassure us - 'comfort' us, in the old, strong, Bible sense of the word - as we contemplate the unsearchable riches of divine mercy displayed in the Lord Jesus Christ. ...And it is as we enter more and more deeply into this experience of being humbled and exalted that our knowledge of God increases, and with it our peace, our strength, and our joy. God help us, then, to put our knowledge about God to this use, that we all may in truth 'know the Lord'."
Knowing God, p 18-19)

For more on how to apply meditation to prayer please click here.

Pat McKitrick has been a long time friend and teammate with Outreach Canada, the mission with which Carol and I served for many years. This mission, as true of most others, is populated by activists, myself included. Pat was a gift to us in challenging us to keep to a healthier balance in the inward and outward journeys.

During a team meeting in 2003, as Pat rightly pressed us to devote more time to personal and team refection, someone, in good-natured jest, "appointed" Pat to serve as head of Outreach Canada's "Department of Meditation and Contemplation" - an appointment which Pat took seriously. He began to share his reflections on Scripture and the inner journey leading to strength for the outward journey, and it's my pleasure to commend this sampling to you also. I hope you appreciate, in addition to Pat's deep and thoughtful devotion to Christ, his honesty, wry humor and occasional self-depreciation...

1. On Meditation

2. The Lord is Peace

3. The Law of the Lord

4. The Fruit of the Spirit

5. Reverberating through Eternity

6. Mystery of the Incarnation

7. Overwhelming Grace

8. Unemployed

9. Rejoice

10. Music of Heaven

11. Trust and Praise

12. Fallen, yet Loved

13. St. Patrick (the other one)

14. A Love Story

15. God's Plan and Ours

16. Arguing with God

17. Knowing by Being Known

18. Birds of the Air

19. Be Still and Know

20. Adopted with Family

21. Fear Not

22. Least of These

23. Communion

24. Are You Talking to Me?

25. Surprised by Joy

26. Art of Joy

27. Presence of God

28. The Winter's Tale

29. Measure for Measure

30. Soul Care

31. God at Work

32. Winter of Discontent

33. Poetry in War

34. What is Prayer?

35. Heaven

36. Believer, Atheist, Agnostic

37. Wealth

38. Serving though Troubled

39. Living in Hope

40. Temptation

41. Renewal

42. Strength in Weakness

43. Chaucer's Canterbury Tales

44. Peace

45. Unforgiveable Sin

46. Bonhoeffer

47. Aquinas on God

48. Meditation and Scripture

49. The Difficult Questions

50. Trusting God in the Hard Times

51. Meaning beyond Words

52. Law and Grace

53. A Rainy Season

54. Grace to the Vanquished

55. In the Beginning

56. Feeling Not the Lord's Presence

57. Children of the Kingdom

58. Bones

59. Word of God

60. Eternity in our Hearts

61. Joy in a Dangerous World

62. Faith, Mystery and Imagination

63. Humility & Hope in Samuel Johnson

64. Lamb of God

65. Comfort and Security in His Eternity

66. God has Written on our Hearts

67. Faith and Philosophy

68. Faith in Suffering

69. Wrestling with Abraham

70. Dream of the Cross

71. Richard Baxter on Journey of Faith

72. Richard Dawkins

73. God and Science

74. Peace in God

75. Struggle and Grace

76. Hated for Doing Right

77. Problem of Evil

78. Gratitude

79. Apologetics and Love

80. Christian Pilgrimage

81. Troubled

82. Anger

83. Aging

84. Humility, Faith and Science

85. Karl Barth on Faith

86. Born from above - contrasting stories

87. Karl Barth on Faith - Romans 3:37

88. Faith tested and able

89. Hebrews on faith

90. Meditating on Truth

91. Bonhoeffer in Life Together

92. Jesus prays for us

93. Loneliness...with God

94. The distance between faith and reason is the heart

95. The Riddle of Time

96. Conversation with an Atheist Friend

97. Christian Poetry

98. Sibling Rivalry

99. Invitation to Faith

100. Evidence for the Senses


101. Miracle of Forgiveness

102. Faith and Freedom

103. Everyday Spirituality: Love

104. Chat with Nicodemus 

105. Blaise Pascal