In today’s generation, most people practice meditation to relax their minds, connect with their inner selves, or reduce stress. Some people prefer to do this in a secluded place to get the necessary privacy. In the Bible, Jesus had alone times to himself when he would pray. This has left many bible readers wondering, “did Jesus meditate?”
It is still being determined whether Jesus meditated or not. What we know is that He constantly prayed. Prayer is a form of direct communication with God. This may involve praising, repenting, petitioning for something from him, or even reciting bible verses. Conversely, meditation does not involve talking directly to God but focusing on something to relax your mind or a form of exercise. These two activities are primarily done in private, and it is impossible to know if a person meditates before praying or if they pray before meditation.
So, how does the Bible describe meditation? Is there evidence in the Bible that Jesus meditated? What is the difference between meditation in the Bible and modern-day meditation? Is prayer the same as meditation? Why do some people believe that Jesus meditated for 40 days? Read on to learn the answers to these questions.
How does the Bible describe meditation?
The Bible majorly describes meditation as a spiritual exercise directly related to the scripture the person reads. A Christian can meditate on a specific verse while wanting to know what it truly means and why God wants them to do or carry themselves in their exact situation.
One can meditate by praying, reading the Bible, memorizing certain scriptures in the Bible, and pondering over them. In the Bible, meditation is supposed to bring the person closer to God and put all the focus on his teachings, words, and promises. Several verses in the Bible have directly mentioned the word meditation.
Joshua 1:8 says, “Keep this Book of 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”. Through this verse, Christians are encouraged to meditate not on anything but on what the book of law requires them to do.
Psalms 119:15-16 says, “I meditate on your precepts and consider your ways. I delight in your decrees; I will not neglect your work.” In this verse, the author vows to God that he will think over or pray over God’s law or rule and consider only his ways.
Psalms 77:12 says, “I will consider all your works and meditate on all your mighty deeds.” The author of this verse is also vowing or telling the Lord that he will consider his works and mighty deeds and thoroughly think through them and possibly what they mean to him.
Psalms 19:14 says, “May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock, and my Redeemer.” Mediation in this scripture is used to mean thoughts or desires. We might not pray every time, but we know what the desires of our hearts are.
Genesis 24:62-63 says, “Now Isaac had come from Beer Lahai Roi, for he was living in the Negev. He went out to the field one evening to meditate, and he looked up, he saw camels approaching”. This scripture does not define how Isaac meditated in the field, raising different arguments between scholars. The Bible is unclear on what exactly Isaac was meditating on, but we can conclude that he was thinking through the goodness of the Lord and wanted to do that without being destroyed.
From the scriptures above, biblical meditation can be described as rejoicing or acknowledgment of God’s mercy and love and ultimate power.
Is there evidence in the Bible that Jesus meditated?
It is impossible to know if Jesus meditated, as no scripture in the Bible speaks directly about that. However, some religious scholars have speculated that Jesus indeed mediated when he would go to a private space early in the morning or evening to pray alone.
In Mark 1:35, we see Jesus getting up early in the morning and going to a solitary place alone, where he prayed. Meditation is also usually done in secluded places, and that is why several scholars believe that there is a possibility Jesus meditated before or after praying on this day, as no one was with him to prove or deny it.
Luke 6:12-13 also explains how Jesus went alone to the mountain to pray. He spent the entire night praying alone, as he was to choose his 12 disciples, who were to help him in his ministry. The whole night might be too long for prayers, making some people think that Jesus might have meditated that night at some point.
Additionally, we see Jesus instructing people how to pray in Matthew 6:5-8. He first encourages people to pray in secrecy by going into their rooms. He continues to state that it would be better to pray in silence, not a bubble, because God already knows what one wants to ask. By Jesus encouraging people to pray in private, some may think that one must spend a little time reflecting before prayers, which may be linked to meditation.
What is the difference between meditation in the Bible and modern-day meditation?
Meditation in the Bible involves God. Biblical meditation calls upon Christians to put their attention and focus on God while thinking over a particular scripture and how God is communicating to them through it. In most cases, biblical meditation involves the Bible, as one must go over a specific scripture, read it and ponder it deeply to get its meaning.
On the other hand, modern-day meditation does not involve the invocation of God, but one focuses on a particular object or thought. In modern-day meditation, one usually says a specific word repeatedly, intending to clear their mind or call upon certain spirits to fill the area. Lastly, in modern meditation, one is required to intensely focus through the whole process and not shift their mind on anything else.
Is prayer the same as meditation?
Prayer cannot be defined as meditation because there is a difference between the two. A person intentionally communicates to God and not any other spirit. Prayer also requires a relaxed mind, unlike meditation which requires intense focus. Also, prayer involves verbal speaking, while meditation requires one to remain silent and only utter a few words when necessary.
Why do some people believe that Jesus meditated for 40 days?
Some people believe that Jesus meditated for forty days because the scripture does not state what he did on those days. Matthew 4:1-2 says, “Then Jesus was led by the spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. After fasting for forty days and nights, he was hungry”.
Bible scholars also speculate that Jesus spent the forty days in the desert meditating, listening to God rather than praying for a specific reason. This is because God was preparing Jesus for his biggest mission, and he needed to listen to him more than communicate with him. Various religious scholars also believe in this argument because Jesus was not accompanied by anyone to the desert and was all alone for the entire time he spent there.
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- What is biblical meditation
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- what are some biblical examples of meditation
- Did Jesus ever meditate?
- What is the difference between Eastern meditation and Biblical New Testament meditation?
As a devout Christian, I have always been passionate about the Christian faith. This inspired me to pursue a degree in Religious studies and a Masters in Theology in college. I have also been privileged to teach 4 Christian courses in a college and university. Since I am dedicated to spreading the word of God, I am actively involved in the Church. Additionally, I share his word online and cover diverse topics on the Christian faith through my platform. You can read more about me on the about us page.