Are you practicing the spiritual discipline of Christian meditation? It not only holds benefits for you, but for your children as well.
It’s a joy to welcome an author I met at a fall retreat in the hills of Missouri a couple years ago, Sarah Geringer. Sarah is a devotional writer for Proverbs 31 Ministries and today she shares how meditating on scripture deepened her faith.
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What Is Christian Meditation?
Christian meditation is practical and simple. It is focusing intently on God’s word and applying it to your life. There is nothing woo-woo about it. In fact, it is prescribed to us in the Bible up to 20 times, depending on the translation you use.
Christian meditation helps us hide God’s word in our hearts and minds. (Psalm 119:11) This is an important practice to not only give us greater peace, but to help us fight spiritual battles. When Jesus was tempted, he fought back with scripture that was hidden in his heart and mind. We need to do the same whether we are adults or children.
How I Started with Christian Meditation
In 2003, I started a personal challenge to read the Bible front to back. I used the One Year Bible (ESV version) and focused on the verse in bold from each day’s reading. I put it through three simple filters for application:
- What does this verse tell me about God?
- What does this verse tell me about how I need to live?
- What does this verse tell me about relating to others?
I simply thought about that verse, using those three filters, throughout the day. Sometimes I wrote it out and put it on a 3 x 5 card to carry with me. Other times, I meditated on it while I cooked dinner or washed dishes. God’s word started sinking deeper and deeper into my heart and mind, where it worked powerful changes.
Though I had always gone to church and even graduated from a Christian college, I had not interacted this deeply with God’s word before. Soon after I started, I realized that I was believing a whole host of lies, because what I was reading in the Bible didn’t match what I was thinking.
God used the truth of His word to set me on a path toward emotional health and healing. He also used my time of meditation to better equip me in the spiritual battles I faced. A few minutes of Christian meditation each morning were the most powerful force in my healing and recovery journey. They changed me more than anything else, and I’m grateful to God for the power of his word.
The Benefits of Christian Meditation
You have probably heard how worldly meditation can benefit your physical, mental and emotional health. Christian meditation can do the same thing plus more!
Regular meditation on God’s word increases your focus and concentration. It can reduce stress and anxiety, lower your blood pressure, improve your immune system function and help you get better sleep. It also deepens your relationship with God and makes you a more effective witness for Christ.
Christian meditation gives you the peace only God can give, the peace that is not available through worldly things. (John 14:27) Christian meditation works in tandem with Bible study, prayer and worship to enhance your walk with the Lord. It is an ancient spiritual discipline that many Christians have used to increase their faith.
Christian Meditation: Not Just for Grownups
More than ever, we need to teach our children how to meditate on God’s word. Our children are suffering from high levels of stress and anxiety. If we model for them how practical and helpful Christian meditation is, they can gain peace and strength in the struggles they face.
Your children are seeking honest, vulnerable conversations about faith with you. You can use Christian meditation as a connection point between you, a way to foster fruitful discussions on how to live out your faith.
For example, you could choose a single verse for you and your family to meditate upon for 30 days. You can use this verse to direct your thoughts and actions in a single month. At a weekly meal, your family members can take turns reporting how they saw God at work through the lens of that verse. If you as the adult lead with honesty and vulnerability, your children will follow in your footsteps.
Christian meditation has many practical applications your children can use to hide God’s Word in their hearts and minds. They can speak the verse, write it out, post it in visible places, and even make songs out of their verse for greater memory retention.
Be intentional in picking a verse that resonates with the needs of your family. Struggling with anxiety, anger or fear? Meditate on the same verse together and watch how God will help you overcome in that problem area. You’ll be stronger as individuals and as a family too.
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Sarah Geringer is a speaker, podcaster, artist, creative coach and author of several books, including Transforming Your Thought Life: Christian Meditation in Focus and Transforming Your Thought Life for Teens: Renew Your Mind with God. She’s a devotional writer for Proverbs 31 Ministries, Hope-Full Living, Kingdom Edge Magazine and Woman 2 Woman Ministries. She reads over 100 books per year and enjoys painting, baking, gardening and playing the flute. She lives in southeast Missouri with her husband and three children. Sarah writes and speaks about finding peace in God’s word at sarahgeringer.com. Get her free discussion guide on Christian meditation for adults and teens.
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