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Prayer and Meditation (Week 1 Prayer, Day 7)


“But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.” Pslams 1:2-3

Have you stopped to think lately? Have you spent time contemplating a bible verse, even if its meaning didn’t reveal itself to you? Have you processed the Word of God with a slow, meditative posture today? Or yesterday?

Godly Meditation

The concept of prayer encompasses many aspects, including meditation. The backdrop of Psalm 1 reveals to us the importance of godly meditation. Don’t worry, I’m not suggesting that you need to sit in a certain posture, hum to yourself, and rock back and forth to summon the Lord to your side. However, if you are like me, any time I extend my time of prayer with meditation, I find that I think about anything other than what I intended to meditate on. Meditation is not an easy habit to form.


YET, we are met with the writer of Psalm 1 insisting on a preferred way of following Yahweh – meditating on God’s law day and night. From a practical sense, that almost seems unpractical. What else will I get done if that is all I do? But what would happen if we did attempt to walk down this path? After all, what the psalmist is suggesting is a way of life and not a resolution that will fade into an afterthought.

Eden Imagery

From the perspective of an ancient Israelite, the law of God is what we now refer to as the Torah and other aspects of God’s written words to that point in history. From our perspective, we tend to look back on the Old Testament with a bit of detachment. Indeed, Christ, our Redeemer has made things forever different. But imagine for a moment an Israelite meditating on Deuteronomy 6, Deuteronomy 8, or Leviticus 19 and delighting in the law of the Lord. Some of those same passages we may skip over or place a lesser emphasis on now were once valued for meditation for someone wanting to delight in the Lord.


In reality, we are not much different today from one standpoint. The principle of meditation is still valuable to our lifestyle; just look at the result of meditation in Psalm 1:3 – He is like a tree planted by streams of water….” The language of this Psalm would have lit up the imagination of an ancient reader as they connected the reality of meditating on God’s law and a tree planted to the Eden imagery of Genesis 2 & 3. Eden, the place where God dwelt, the place of life, the place of intersection between heaven and earth. There is hardly a coincidence that ancient scribes elected to place, what we call Psalm 1, at the beginning of that book. Meditation affects habitation.


In an arid climate like the Middle East, the assurance of being like a tree planted by streams of water would have struck a chord in the way a person responded to and embraced meditation.

Activity

Two of my favorite chapters in the Bible are back-to-back – Revelation 4 & 5. Those chapters reveal the Lamb of God in all of his majesty. They speak of Jesus’s unquestioned authority to reign because He has conquered all. These two chapters capture the imagination and often provide a reset to me when I meditate on them. Today, as time allows, I encourage you to read those two chapters and then sit in meditation over them. Let the images of those chapters strike your mind, your imagination, and your thoughts as you picture Jesus – the reigning King. Even if you walk away not understanding everything, meditate. As you develop this habit in your prayer time, watch for the pattern Psalm 1 to renew the delight of the Eden experience in your walk with Yahweh.

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