Can we meditate about meditating? About what things do you meditate? What is meditation anyway? It is not complicated. It is contemplative thinking, pondering, and reflecting. We do it all the time. It is what we are told to do in Philippians 4:8 and we are given a list of things upon which to meditate. Meditation can be a calming, enlightening, and soul-centering practice. That sounds like some far-Eastern, non-Christian, thing doesn’t it? Actually, it is a practice found in the Bible.
As Joshua was about to assume responsibility for the nation of Israel, God told him, “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night” (Joshua 1:8). The Book of Psalms begins with this. “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly . . . but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night” (Psalm 1:1-2). Each of the Psalms are meditations. Psalm 7 is titled, “A Meditation of David, which he sang to the Lord concerning the words of Cush.”
Our prayers ought to include meditations of our hearts. If prayer becomes simply a recitation of phrases we use every time we pray, then our prayers are thoughtless and mindless babble. Prayer is a conversation with almighty God. It is done with our hearts and minds engaged. We allow our thoughts to express our most oppressive pain and our greatest joy; our highest praise and our deepest sorrow. Our private prayers are unhurried meditations. They are spoken directly to our Lord with this desire as our guide, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer” (Psalm 19:14).
Prayer, that is truly open and honest conversation with God, flows from the head and heart of believers who spend time meditating on God’s Word, God’s active work, God’s revelations, and God’s presence. Our contemplative thinking, pondering, and reflecting is an avenue for The Spirit of God to teach, guide, comfort, and direct us. But, we must choose the right things upon which to meditate. That brings us back to our text. “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy – mediate on these things” (Philippians 4:8).