The Benefits of Meditation
Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.Joshua 1:8
Meditation on scripture implies deep concentration and focus on the scripture we are reading, and using our imaginations to visualize the scripture. With true meditation the world disappears from our minds and we move into the spiritual world. If we can worry we can certainly meditate, because worry is meditating on the negative. Satan’s goal for our meditation is based on fear, while God wants us to meditate on his love and his divine Word.
Daily meditation is beneficial to mental and physical health. “We need downtime to function optimally. To cope with the demands of life, our minds and brains need to internally ‘reboot,’ which can only happen when we are alone with our thoughts.1” “Not only does meditation reboot the mind it also improves cognitive ability. “‘Thinker’” moments actually increase and develop our intelligence and the efficiency of our thinking.2” “The brain needs ‘thinker’ time for its health and functioning, including the prevention of dementias!”3
When we meditate on a God of love our brains heal and grow. “Recent brain research by Dr. Newburg at the University of Pennsylvania has documented that all forms of contemplative meditation were associated with positive brain changes – but the greatest improvements occurred when participants meditated specifically on a God of love. Such meditation was associated with growth in the prefrontal cortex (the part of the brain right behind the forehead where we reason, make judgments, and experience God-like love) and subsequent increased capacity for empathy, sympathy, compassion and altruism. But here’s the most astonishing part: Not only does other-centered love increase when we worship a God of love, but sharp thinking and memory improve as well. In other words, worshipping a God of love stimulates the brain to heal and grow.”3
Meditating on God and his Word helps us to escape the troubles of the world and to relax in the divine love of our Lord. He fills our minds and hearts with peace, relaxation, and comfort, because we are in the Spirit and are closer to the Lord. The closer we are to the Lord the more love we have in our hearts and the less fear we have, because God is love. Love and fear are opposites; God is love and Satan is fear. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, (1 John 4:18). The more love we have in our hearts the less fear we have.
Today set a time to be alone and practice meditating on the Word and on our Lord. Use your imagination to visualize what you are reading. Imagine what Jesus is thinking in addition to what he is saying or doing. Think deeply and focus until the world disappears and you move into the Spirit. This takes practice but is divine.
Let’s Pray: Lord, help me to meditate on you and on your Word. Help me to focus deeply and move into the Spirit so I can be closer to you. In Jesus’ name, Amen
- Dr. Caroline Leaf, “Think Learn Succeed,” (Grand Rapids. Mich., Baker Books, 2018) pg. 48
- Ibid 48
- Ibid 48
- Dr. Timothy Jennings, “The God Shaped Brain,” (Downers Grove, Ill, InterVarsity Press, 2013), pg. 27