Today I want to discuss Christian Meditation: Reviving a Lost Art by Mark Hollis. He notes that the Psalms open with the righteous one meditating on God’s torah. In the same way physical exercise benefits the body, meditation produces health for your mind that enables it to perform at a higher level of efficiency (Location 151). Also, he points out that while other traditions of meditation seek to empty the mind, “Christian meditation, in contrast, always has in mind to fill a mind with God’s truth” (Location 157). Furthermore, he writes, “This is a worthy goal: to know our mind and to submit our strongholds to the power of God. To do so is to free our mind to think the thoughts of God and accomplish his purposes” (Location 907).


Basically the book argues that to really live the mature life of a believer, a person needs to learn the art of reflection. Purposeful reflection is what he calls meditation. When he describes the basic technique he begins similarly to other non-christian meditation techniques. However he recommends that before one begin they read a small section of scripture to secure it in the mind. Then, when one clears their mind they can recall the text and reflect on it. This time of deep inner reflection allows the Holy Spirit to show the believer what the text does and does not say, and how to apply the text as well as where to show grace in its application. The goal as he says, is to live a life in harmony with the gospel and with other people so that when we disagree with others we are prepared to respond in grace and kindness instead of with our base emotions.

I’ll confess it is this last part that gets me. I’m guilty almost every day of responding in my surface level emotions to something that someone says to me, or something that my kids do to each other. Over the past year and a half I’ve incorporated times of meditation into my week. I have seen myself greatly develop self-control, and the capacity for kindness. What I’ve noticed most at this point of only a few months practicing meditation is that I really notice when I do respond properly and when I do not. These moments are often brought back to me by the spirit during my meditation times.

When I meditate, I like to spend about 15min in reflection. That doesn’t mean I have replaced my “traditional quiet time,” instead I’ve chosen to supplement my personal bible study time with meditation at another point during the day. I often (but not as much as I would like) even spend another separate time in purposeful prayer. I can tell you that being focused like this in my spiritual life has greatly impacted me. I struggle with anxiety and have had some times in the past few years where anxiety has really knocked me down. After incorporating christian meditation, I have been increasingly aware of the waning influence of anxiety in my life. I’m not a medical doctor, so I can’t recommend meditation in that way. But I can say that this may or may not work for you, but it has greatly helped me.

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