40 days of meditation

Pastor Jerry has challenged us to create 15 minutes a day just to be still and to be in the presence of God. This idea, simple in construction but difficult in practice, is not new. It's not a magic pill that will fix all things. It is a commitment–a decision each day until Christmas to remember that God is God and we are not. 

Scripture for the week

Psalm 100

 Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth.
    Worship the Lord with gladness;
    come into his presence with singing.

 Know that the Lord is God.
    It is he that made us, and we are his;
    we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

 Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
    and his courts with praise.
    Give thanks to him, bless his name.

 For the Lord is good;
    his steadfast love endures forever,
    and his faithfulness to all generations.

Following are some different ways of engaging in meditation:

  • Five minutes repeatedly reading a verse or short scripture passage; five minutes pondering the words; five minutes journaling or drawing or painting the reflections that come to your mind.

  • Sit in a comfortable place (inside or outside) and look at God’s Creation. Pay attention to the large and the small and spend time being grateful for the beauty of God. If possible, reflect on scripture that speaks to God’s Creation (e.g. Psalm 19:1, Psalm 95:4-5; Psalm 104:24-25; John 1:3).

  • Find a quiet place and simply be still for 15 minutes, noting the thoughts that come to your mind. If you’d like you can journal these thoughts and look over them in the evening. 

  • Engage in a “re-collection,” a practice of Christians in the Middle Ages. Begin with your palms down on your lap and inwardly offer up any concerns, fears or frustrations you have to the Lord. Then place your palms up as a sign of receiving from the Lord. Silently pray for those things you are in need of. Leave five minutes at the end for silence (This idea was taken from Richard Foster in Celebration of Discipline).

  • Find a certain chair or spot in your home free from distraction to make your location for meditation. Practice sitting there for 15 minutes without getting up. If you have random thoughts, note them mentally or even have a small piece of paper to write them and down and come back to them later after you meditate and pray. Then use the time to read, pray, and focus on God.

  • If you are a person who has a hard time sitting still or get antsy, try going on a leisurely walk in nature or on a trail or in your neighborhood, but tell yourself this is a time to meditate and pray, not to exercise.

  • Take one Psalm a day, and pray through the Psalm and change the words to make it a personal prayer from you to God. Say the words quietly out loud, not just in your head. Then in the remaining time, ask God to hear your prayer and speak to you anything he wants to say.