(This post includes a free printable to use as a tool to meditate on Scripture.)
If we want God’s Word to do its best and most comprehensive work in us, we must meditate on Scripture. Like tough meat requires low, slow heat to tenderize it, we stubborn humans need to ruminate on the rich truths of God’s Word in order to get the most life-changing benefits.
What is biblical meditation?
True biblical mediation is NOT anything like the meditation of Eastern religions and mysticism. The goal of Eastern meditation is to empty the mind of conscious thought. When a Christian mediates on Scripture, her goal is to fill her mind with spiritual truth in order to better understand it, apply it, and be transformed by it.
“Meditating” on a Bible passage includes the ideas of pondering, contemplating, questioning, reflecting, thinking, speaking, and musing. It’s taking apart a Scripture and deeply and thoroughly inspecting it from every angle to discover everything God has for us within it. (See also this post on 5 reasons to meditate.)
How do we mediate on Scripture?
One of the best ways to meditate on Scripture is to ask questions of a verse or passage that particularly impacted you as you read. Linger over that verse or verses and ask God questions. “Listen” for His answers and record what He says in a journal. Below are five “starter” categories you can ask of the passage. These five categories of questions form the acronym PROBE:
- Pray – How can I use this Scripture to pray for myself? Others? (See also “The 5 Ps of the Lord’s Prayer.”)
- Repent – What sin or area of disobedience does this Scripture call to mind of which I need to repent?
- Obey – Does this Scripture point out decisions I need to make? Directions I need to follow? Commandments I need to obey?
- Believe – What does this Scripture teach about God’s character, nature, or ways? About the nature of man? The way of salvation? (See also “10 Observation Tips for Better Bible Study.“)
- Express – In what ways does this Scripture prompt praise or thanksgiving?
Feel free to print the PROBE meditation sheet for future use!
This is just the beginning. The Bible tells us we can mediate on God’s Word “day and night.” Those moments we spend with the printed Word in front of us, plants it in our hearts and minds so we can turn our thoughts back to it again and again throughout the day. We can speak it to ourselves and talk about it to others.
What are the results of biblical meditation?
As we consistently and constantly meditate on the truth of God’s Word, we will not remain the same. God will use His truth to transform, use, and bless us! (Also see “4 Ways You Can Apply Scripture to Your Life.“)
Oh, the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or stand around with sinners, or join in with mockers. But they delight in the law of the Lord, meditating on it day and night. They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season. Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do. Psalm 1:1-3, NLT
Let’s talk: Have you ever spent time meditating on Scripture? If so, what tools or helps have you used?