Christian Meditation provides the benefit of relaxation, gaining perspective on life, and enabling one to grow closer to God. There are many approaches to Christian Meditation, two of which are: being present to God, and focusing or meditating on something that is religious and spiritual.
Common elements of Christian Meditation
1. Ask the Holy Spirit for protection and guidance.
Find a quiet place where you can be alone and away from distractions including the TV, radio, the telephone,
conversations, etc. Some people seek a sacred place or a place of prayer. If you practice this discipline in the
same location, that location will become sacred to you.
Sit in a comfortable position. Do not choose one that is so comfortable that you fall asleep nor one that is so
uncomfortable that you are distracted by the discomfort. Consider using a chair or sitting on the floor.
(Meditation can help with Insomnia.)
Close your eyes, be still, quiet yourself, and remind yourself that you are seeking your God. (Note: You may
want to use a Deep Breathing Exercise.)
Pray the Lord ’s Prayer or some type of prayer starting at normal speech level and gradually reduce the volume until
you end with a whisper. (This replaces counting to 20.)
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Clear your thoughts. Wait in silence for God’s presence. (This is like sitting next to someone you love without saying
Your thoughts (distractions) will come up. Do not focus on fighting them, but LET THEM GO. I like the analogy of
sitting in front of a fish tank and the fish swim in front of you. Instead of following the fish (your thoughts), let them go.
Return to being present before God. Don’t fight the thoughts or distractions, LET THEM GO.
9. Chose something to focus on when the thoughts and distractions are so great that you can’t let go of them. The
focal point should be something that has no meaning so that after you have let go of the distractions, you can let go
of the focal point. There are many things you can focus on including your breath, a word, or the word “one.” (Note, if
you choose a word that has significance to you like “Jesus” or “God,” then you are doing another type of Christian
10. End you meditation with the Lord’s Prayer by starting at a whisper and end at normal speech level.
Decide before you start how long you will spend in meditation. Some people start with five (5) minutes and gradually
increase the amount of time. Others start with twenty (20) minutes. An hour a day is ideal if you can make the time.
A. One approach is the prayer of presence – being in present to God.
i. Sit before the Lord and LET GO of your thoughts.
ii. Imagine that you are looking at Jesus.
iii. Imagine that you are holding Jesus’ hand.
B. Another approach is focusing on something spiritual or religious.
i. Read a passage from scripture and meditate on it.
Read a passage of from one of the Gospels and use your senses to imagine yourself in the scene.
Who do you see? What do you hear, smell, taste, and feel?
iii. Use a Christian mantra.
Some types of Christian Meditation are:
Centering Prayer. This is a prayer of presence. When thoughts and other distractions arise focus on a sacred word. Then let go of the sacred word and be open to God’s presence. This approach to meditation is described at the website of Contemplative Outreach.
Imagine a scene from the Gospel. Read a portion of a Gospel. Use your imagination to place yourself in the scene. Visualize in your imagination the scene using your five (5) senses. See the countryside, the sky, the houses, the animals, the people, how they are dressed. Hear the sounds, smell the grass or the desert, feel the sand under you feet. Can you taste the bread? Where are you in the scene? Are you a bystander or are participant? Notice your reaction to what is done and what is said. A similar approach to Christian Meditation focusing on Scripture is called Ignatian Contemplation: Imaginative Prayer.
Use a Christian mantra or word prayer. The World Community for Christian Meditation, which is inclusive of all denominations, uses this type of meditation. Their web page describes how to meditate. Their webpage explains some of the mental health benefits meditation.