Making a regular practice of meditating on God’s Word was not always a part of my devotional life. For many years, I consistently read the Bible, and I learned a great deal that way. Sometimes, when I was intrigued by a particular verse, I did a little study — looking it up in other translations, perhaps checking out the meanings of a few words in Strong’s Concordance, maybe seeing what commentaries had to say about it. But meditate on it? Not so much.
Why? Because I didn’t know how. It was one of those things nobody ever taught me. Then, a couple of books came my way, which helped me to see that I was missing a very important component of how God wants to interact with us through the Bible.
I like to make things as simple as possible, both for myself and others, so what I share today won’t be as detailed as their methods, but if you would like to go deeper, I highly recommend both books.
So, how do I personally meditate on God’s Word?
I ask God to give me a verse or passage.
- Once I’ve asked, I may hear from the Lord right away, or I might need to keep asking Him for a day or two.
- He then brings a verse or phrase from Scripture to mind. If I don’t know where it is in the Bible, I locate it in a concordance or by searching for it in Google.
- Or, in my regular course of reading, a verse just comes alive to me. Either way, I know that this is the verse or passage God wants me to meditate on.
- I write out the verse in a notebook I keep just for Bible meditation purposes.
- I read it aloud several times, and think about it.
- As I do that, a particular phrase from that verse may seem to be particularly meaningful, so I focus on that part.
- I ask God if He would like to bring a picture (which is a mini-vision) to mind which goes along with the verse or phrase, and then I wait for His response. If I receive a picture, I either try to draw it or describe it in my notebook.
- If God is not already flooding me with thoughts about the verse (usually He is), I ask God to speak to me about the verse. I write down whatever He says, or whatever insights He gives.
- At this point, I frequently start to remember other Bible verses which go along with my meditation verse. I write those down, too, and I explain in my notebook how they fit with the verse I started with.
- I ask God to show me how to apply the verse to my life, when applicable.
- I thank Him for what He is revealing to me.
- I may pray the verse back to Him, if that seems to fit.
- I try to remember the verse throughout the day. As I do that, God may give me additional insight. If He does, I return to my notebook and write it down.
- I go back to the verse the next day and think about it again, to see if the Lord has additional revelation for me in it.
- I sometimes repackage what I have learned by restating it in a FaceBook and/or Twitter post. That solidifies it for me, but it also inspires and blesses other people.
Twelve steps might seem like a lot, but they are only general guidelines. You don’t have to check them off point by point. I do this very informally, and all the steps may not happen each time. The important thing is to commune with God over short pieces of Scripture so that you are thinking about Him more and growing in knowing Him better.
The amount of time I spend on a particular verse or passage varies. It may be one day, or a week. I sense in my spirit when the mission has been fully accomplished. Sometimes I come back to it again many months later.
I do not meditate on a single verse in place of reading the Bible in larger chunks. Consuming bigger portions of the Word daily is also important. I usually incorporate Scripture meditation into my morning prayer time, while reading at length in the evening works well for me. Everyone is different, so use whatever method is best for you.
Do you have additional suggestions you would like to share? Please comment!
All-Surpassing Peace in a Shaking World, by Lee Ann Rubsam