I once heard praying is talking to God and meditation is hearing from god. I usually turn to the word of God when trying to hear from him…but im wondering if anyone has any meditation strategies or resources i can look into?
@sbergic My personal opinion is that it is best to focus on spending time in prayer / worship and studying the Word. Pray for God to guide you, but do not try to hear voices. Trust in Him and grow in grace and knowledge of Him and He will guide you. I think it is very easy for us to lead ourselves astray when we start trying to discern what voices in our own heads come from God.
You might find these threads helpful. The Lord Jesus grant you a spirit of wisdom and revelation in knowledge of Him.
Thank you…I do spend time in prayer and the word…I think what I’m looking for are ways to enhance being still and emptying my mind of thoughts…so I can hear better from the spirit minus the chatter not sure if I’m conveying my message accurately…but Thanx for the feedback
I’ve also wondered the same thing.
While I think prayer and meditation can be defined in those terms, there is more beyond, as you seem to be acknowledging?
I regularly hear many leaders admit prayer to be the hardest spiritual discipline. We share a struggle in not only going to God but focusing in the time we are before Him specifically to pray.
Prayer, as has been helpful to my understanding, follows heart posture.
A night of prayer recently shifted from praise & thanksgiving to confession & repentance to thanksgiving & gratitude to petitions & asking God.
While this is only an example, the basic approach admits room not only for talking or listening, but both. It is only a question of what we are talking about and redirecting our hearts to remember Who we are listening to.
Does this come close to the root of your question?
One study by www.susankmacias.com walked thru attributes of God, application of Scriptures that define Him, and prayer prompts to help you stop and meditate on the truth from the Word of God. This methodical manner helped me focus more clearly on Who He is and then leads me to pray more “informed” than if I had just jumped into it “without looking.”
I am hopeful as we follow along with the feedback on your question.
@sbergic, yes, it is difficult to quieten our minds from all the distractions of our lives and spend time focusing on God. One strategy that has helped me is to pray by using the Psalms and the Lord’s prayer as a guide to pray along those lines. For example: When I think about our Father in heaven, I may focus on the gift of sonship made possible to us in Christ or how God provided previously in my own life. When I say hallowed be thy name, I may focus how my prayer and life can bring glory to Him. The Bible also says that God will not despise a contrite heart (PS 51:17). Coming to God in repentance and following the biblical models of prayer and some persistence has usually been enough to feel a sense of restoration in prayer.
I too agree with @SeanO that we can know God more only through a life of obedience.When we make it a goal to hear His voice in a special way in prayer, we can easily slip and fall for our own subjective imaginations. We don’t want to commit the error of thinking God has spoken when He has not. If God spoke whenever we wanted, we would not have opportunity to mature in our character. The more broken we are before God and the more we obey, we are promised that we will know Him more. God may in a miraculous way choose to speak to us to caution us, convict us, direct us and if we are pursuing a life of obedience to Him in faith, we can be confident that God will clearly communicate to us so we can hear Him in our need (Luke 12:11-12). He speaks per His will and timing. We don’t have to be afraid that we will miss it. His sheep will hear His voice and follow Him (John 10:27).
Here are some verses that show that both our heart condition and obedience are key in receiving God’s guidance.
Psalm 25: 8-10 Good and upright is the Lord; Therefore He teaches sinners in the way. 9 The humble He guides in justice, And the humble He teaches His way. 10 All the paths of the Lord are mercy and truth, To such as keep His covenant and His testimonies.
Ps81: 11 But my people would not hearken to my voice; and Israel would none of me. 12 So I gave them up unto their own hearts’ lust: and they walked in their own counsels. 13 Oh that my people had hearkened unto me, and Israel had walked in my ways!
Heb 3: 12 Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; 13 but exhort one another daily, while it is called “Today,” lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. 14 For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end, 15 while it is said: “Today, if you will hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.
John 14: 21 He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.”
Though this information may not be new, I hope it is helpful. As far as resources are concerned, I have found Andrew Murray’s works on prayer helpful. May God fulfill your heart’s desire to know Him more.
@sbergic My advice would be - don’t try to empty your mind! Instead, fill your mind with God’s Word and with songs of worship.
The idea of emptying your mind does not come from the Bible - it is not a Christian idea. Even when the Bible says in Psalms 46:10 “Be still and know that I am God” the idea is not to empty your mind, but rather to take time out of a busy, hectic schedule to recognize and acknowledge that God is in control and that you are in His hands.
If we read Psalms 19 and Psalms 119, we see that David meditated one two things: the glory of God as revealed in nature and the Word of God. When we meditate, we should do the same - we do not empty our minds. We fill our minds with that which is good.
Philippians 4:8-9 - 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. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
Psalms19:7-10 - The law of the Lord is perfect,
refreshing the soul.
The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy,
making wise the simple.
The precepts of the Lord are right,
giving joy to the heart.
The commands of the Lord are radiant,
giving light to the eyes.
The fear of the Lord is pure,
The decrees of the Lord are firm,
and all of them are righteous.
They are more precious than gold,
than much pure gold;
they are sweeter than honey,
than honey from the honeycomb.
How to Do That Practically
I think some ways to focus on God’s Word / Scripture when are minds are distracted are:
- begin with worship before studying the Word
- memorize Scripture - that way it permeates our thought life
- listen to podcasts / teachings from good teachers rather than always trying to study ourselves if that is a burden
- try alternative methods of prayer: write a letter to God about what’s going on in your life, paint a picture as a prayer, go for a walk in the woods and meditate on God’s Word as you walk
Thank you all for the feedback/suggestions its been very helpful…thank you for taking time to answer