Meditation isn’t just about the mind; it’s about the heart. To meditate is to ponder something in your heart. The Hebrew word for meditate is hagah. Isaiah uses the word to describe the growl of a lion feasting on its prey. In the same way, pondering something in the heart is like sucking the juice out of an orange until it’s dry. The only trouble is that there are so many things fighting for our attention that we rarely meditate on anything.
Practice meditation: In order to make space in your heart for God’s presence, take 5-10 minutes and write down all of the noise inside your head and heart. This is sometimes called “stream of consciousness writing”. Be mindful of the fact that these noises are constantly fighting for your heart’s attention. Now choose a small section of Scripture to read aloud. Read it out loud three times, allowing for a brief period of silence after each reading in order to meditate. [This practice is called Lectio Divina, which means “divine word”.] During the first reading, listen for a word, phrase, or idea that captures your attention. Then focus your attention on that word, phrase, or idea, repeating it to yourself quietly. During the second reading, pay attention to how the word, phrase, or idea is speaking to your life. What does it mean for you? What is it telling you about your life? During the last reading, focus on what you sense God calling you to do or to become.
"Meditate [hagah] is a bodily action; it involves murmuring and mumbling words, taking a kind of physical pleasure in making the sounds of the words, getting the feel of the meaning as the syllables are shaped by larynx and tongue and lips. Isaiah uses this word 'meditate' for the sounds that a lion makes over its prey [Isaiah 31:4]." [Eugene Peterson, Answering God]
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