ON THE JOURNEY

MICHAEL DUVAL, LEAD PASTOR

So, how stressed are you?  Would you be willing to try Christian meditation to deal healthily with your stress in a way that draws you closer to the Lord?  (There are free apps for this, but I’ll get to that.)

 

Meditation is a rich part of the Christian tradition.  Richard Foster says in his book Celebration of Discipline:  “Christian meditation, very simply, is the ability to hear God’s voice and obey his word.  It is that simple.”

 

Through meditation we may remove ourselves from worldly distractions and attach our souls to God, becoming attuned to the divine presence.  Foster says we may meditate on God’s promises, on Scripture, on the goodness of his creation.  The Christian practice of meditation infuses our stress-filled lives with much-needed stillness and quiet.

 

Philippians 4:8 says:  Finally, brothers and sisters, fill your minds with beauty and truth.  Meditate on whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is good, whatever is virtuous and praiseworthy.  (VOICE)

 

C.S. Lewis says:  “We live, in fact, in a world starved for solitude, silence, and private:  and therefore starved for meditation and true friendship.”

 

Need help in learning how to meditate?  One app you might download and use is called “Centering Prayer”.  You can set how long you’d like to pray or meditate silently.  You can choose a Bible verse or prayer to open and close the time.  You can also select a calming sound to begin and end the time, for example, piano, birds singing, or even Gregorian chants (which is what I use). 

 

In the Centering Prayer app you’re encouraged to choose one “sacred word” that you focus on and repeat during the time.  For example, you might choose the word “peace,” or “love” or “grace” or “Jesus” (which is what I use).  The app provides a structure to practice being still and focusing on God for a set length of time.

 

Another tool you might use is YouVersion Rest.  To listen to this on Alexa, say:  “Alexa, open YouVersion Rest.”  To listen to this on Google Assistant, say:  “OK Google, talk to YouVersion Rest.”

 

I listen to YouVersion Rest through my computer.  It’s a way to find peace in the words of God while listening to a calming voice read the Bible to you.  These videos include a female or a male voice, along with four soothing background sounds:  rain, thunderstorm, ocean and soft piano.

 

What are other ways you’ve found to engage in meaningful Christian meditation?  Would you share them through Journey’s Facebook page or group?


-Michael