It has been an exciting week preparing our hearts for our prayer weekend: a time set aside to both speak to our Father and to hear from him. Before we begin tomorrow, here are a few thoughts to encourage you in the powerful spiritual practice of “Meditation”, a practice which God uses to speak deeply to His people through His word.
Scripture has the power to change us and to speak directly into our lives and situations, but first it must get deep inside us; it must get past all of our distractions. As Jesus said, we have ears to hear but yet most of us still do not hear what God is saying to us. We must quiet ourselves and get ourselves in a position for God’s words to abide in us, to become alive within us. David was very experienced in this. In Psalm 63 David wrote: O God I earnestly seek you: my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you...I remember you upon my bed, and meditate on you in the watches of the night. (Psalm 63 vv 1, 6). And in Psalm 1 David explains that meditating upon the law day and night helps to make a man like a tree planted by a stream whose leaves do not wither.
Meditation has been an important practice among Christians for centuries, yet the meaning of the word is sometimes misunderstood today and associated with strange religious practices. The Hebrew word “Hagah” that is translated in the English Bible as the word “meditate” is actually a word with amazing meaning. It is a strong action word. Eugene Peterson explains that the meaning of the word is actually close to the English word “growl,” as in the way a dog growls over a bone, or the way a lion growls over its prey. A dog hunches over a bone, chews on it, turns it over and around in his mouth. This is what we are to do with the words of scripture: chew on it, turn it around in our minds and in our heart, keep it alive in our hearts and minds, taste it and discover that the words are living and, through them, God is speaking to us. In Revelation, the angel tells John not just to read the book, but to “eat” the book!
Here are a few easy steps that can help us to “chew” on the scriptures:
- Read through a passage of scripture
- Identify a sentence or a phrase that really sticks out to you.
- Underline the sentence. Memorize it. Repeat it to yourself.
- Write in your journal about this scripture. What is God saying to you through this scripture? What application does it have to your life?
- Write a prayer to God relating to what He has spoken to you.
I pray that this week God will take each of us deeper together into understanding the great hope, the great inheritance, the great strength we find in Him, and that He will open our ears to hear His words for individuals and for the Hands Family in a new, fresh way.