Listen as You Read
A new England Puritan, John Owen, called meditation a godly duty. In fact, the Bible commands us to meditate. In Joshua 1:8, God says to meditate on His word day and night so we will obey it. The psalmist says "his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night" (Psalm 1:2). The Bible mentions meditate or meditation 20 times.
Malcom Smith, author of How I Learned to Meditate, wanted to make meditation an integral part of his spiritual life. He said that the first thing in meditation is to be silent. That is not emptying our minds, but redirecting our thoughts to be centered upon God. He found that the best way to do this is in praise and thanksgiving. In praise we become sensitive to the divine presence.
Smith found that reading a passage aloud many times over greatly helps him to hear what is really there. Then he writes out the paragraph he is meditating on in his journal.
Meditation is viewing Scripture from every angle, turning it over in our minds in order to hear God. We are holding the Scripture in the light of His presence, waiting for Him to explain it to us.
Our meditation begins best with a conscious dependence upon the Spirit to teach us: "Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening" (1 Sam. 3:9).
God speaks to us through the Bible, not just by reading or memorizing it, but by meditating.
Teach us, Lord, to take time to focus on Your Word, so we will begin to think Your thoughts.
"Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful" (Joshua 1:8).