Should We Meditate?


I will ponder all your work, and meditate on your mighty deeds. (Psalm 77:11-12).

Rembrandt's Old Man in Prayer (17th century)

Rembrandt’s Old Man in Prayer (17th century)

Many Eastern religions teach that the source of salvation is found within, and that the fundamental human problem is not sin against a holy God but ignorance of our true condition. These worldviews advocate meditation and “higher forms of consciousness” as a way to discover a secret inner divinity.

Differences in various forms of Eastern meditation aside, they all aim at a supposedly “higher” or “altered” state of consciousness. Meditation guides claim that normal consciousness obscures sacred realities. Therefore, meditation is practiced in order to suspend rational patterns of thought.

The biblical worldview is completely at odds with the pantheistic concepts driving Eastern meditation.

No amount of chanting, breathing, visualizing, or physical contortions will melt away the sin that separates us from the Lord of the cosmos—however “peaceful” these practices may feel.  “Pleasant” experiences may be portals to peril.

Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. (2 Corinthians 11:14)

Even yoga teachers warn that yoga may open one up to spiritual and physical maladies.

The word meditation comes from the Latin word meditārī, which, among other things, means to reflect on, to study, and to practice. For Christians, meditation is a form of prayer in which a structured attempt is made to become aware of and reflect upon the revelations of God. 

Meditation is pondering the Word in our hearts, preaching it to our own souls, and personally applying it to our own lives and circumstances. It is a form of reverence as we bring ourselves closer to Christ.

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect (Romans 12:2).