On a recent episode of Your Hope-Filled Perspective podcast, I chatted with Jodie Niznik about how to meditate on the word of God. If you missed that episode, you can listen here: How to Meditate on the Word of God | Benefits of Meditation – Episode 223.
Meditation can reduce stress, clarify thinking, and even curb depression and beyond. Numerous studies affirm the positive impact of meditation on our brains and general health. Yet, as a Christian, you may have wondered, is meditation biblical? Read more as Jodie shares the biblical basis for meditation.
Is Meditation Biblical?
By Jodie Niznik
You’ve likely heard meditation can reduce stress, clarify thinking, and even curb depression and beyond. It seems like every week a new study is released that affirms the positive impact of meditation on our brains and general health.
Yet, as a Christian, perhaps you’ve also heard to proceed with caution. Not long ago, a well-meaning Bible teacher emphatically stated that I should avoid meditation as it was from the devil. Yikes. That gave me pause. And sent me to Scripture to discover if this was true.
What I discovered is that meditation is actually biblical. God created meditation and invites us to practice meditating. Many verses affirm this truth, but here are two for us to consider:
Blessed is the one … whose delight is in the law of the LORD,
and who meditates on his law day and night.
That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither—
whatever they do prospers. (Psalm 1:2-3, NIV)
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble,
whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely,
whatever is admirable—
if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—
think about such things. (Philippians 4:8, NIV)
Psalm 1 invites us to meditate on God’s Word and promises that when we do, we become like a firmly rooted tree that yields fruit and won’t wither. What a beautiful promise. And Philippians 4:6-9 reminds us that meditating on the good and true things of God brings us deep and abiding peace. Yes, please. We all need more of this!
This is the type of meditation God created our brains to need and medical science is repeatedly affirming. The teacher that warned me to steer clear of meditating was likely not considering biblical meditation. She was probably thinking of Eastern meditation that aims to empty our minds. The truth is – anything good can be distorted. This is a tried-and-true tactic of the enemy. Meditation is no exception. But biblical meditation, which aims to focus our mind on God’s truth, is not just a good idea; it’s God’s idea.
If you’re struggling with fear and anxiety or want to hear more from the Lord, try meditating. One meditation method I love is called Lectio Divina, which is Latin for Sacred Reading. It takes a short passage of Scripture and reads it four times – each with a slightly different purpose. The aim is to invite the Holy Spirit to bring God’s Word to life and help us apply it. (Hebrews 4:12)
I love the practice of Lectio Divina because it helps me create space to hear from God. And more often than not, God has something he wants to talk to me about. But even if I don’t feel like God has something specific for me, dwelling on His Word is always filling and restful.
God wants a deep and abiding relationship with you. He wants you to experience his peace. And he wants you to know his truth. Meditation is one tool that can help. Give it a try. It may transform your life as it has mine.
What has your experience been with meditation? We’d love to hear in the comments below.
Note: If you’re ready to try meditating using the Lectio Divina method, I’d love to suggest my Scripture meditation podcast. Every Monday, I release a new guided meditation where I read God’s Word and give you space to listen, notice, and pray. You can find it on your favorite podcast platform by searching So Much More: Creating Space for God.
About Jodie Niznik
Jodie Niznik has served in various roles in vocational ministry for more than twelve years, including Pastor to Women. Her calling and passion is to equip people to create space for God in their lives and take another step in their journey with Jesus. She does this through writing, teaching, and her Scripture meditation podcast. Jodie has been married to Tim for over twenty-five years. They have two adult daughters, Taylor and Billie, and a very poorly trained Yorkie-poo. Jodie loves a great adventure, especially in the mountains, and so frequently laments that the Lord has called them to live in hot and flat Dallas. However, she does love the community around her, so this seems to make up for the lack of cool mountain air. She also loves a great cup of coffee, is a pencil snob, and during the pandemic discovered she had a green thumb. You will frequently find her in her office drinking said coffee, staring in awe at her growing plants, or journaling prayers with one of her favorite pencils.