It has been said that prayer is talking to God and meditation is listening to God.
Sadly in this crazy busy world we live in, we have lost the beautiful art of just resting in His presence. We pray but do we take time to stop, rest and listen?
I am absolutely convinced that at this time in history God is calling us to a deeper connection with Him through the practice of stopping, resting and waiting on Him.
Meditation is not a recent practice introduced by the new age or Eastern religions. Meditation is a practice that began with great and Godly men and women of the bible and continued through the centuries with some of the most influential Christians of history.
Sadly it is a practice that has been largely lost in the modern Church but one I feel that God is calling us back to.
You may have heard of the late, great Charles Spurgeon who lived from 1834 to 1892. He was a famous British pastor and author. It is said that he preached to as many as 10 million people in his lifetime – and that was before TV and the internet!
Today his sermons, books and commentaries are still considered to be among the best in Christian literature.
Charles Spurgeon preached a sermon at New Park Street Chapel, Southwark on a Thursday evening in the summer of 1858 entitled “My meditation of him shall be sweet” – Psalm 104:34.
It was a sermon about meditating on God and with God and his three main points were
- A VERY PROFITABLE EXERCISE – “meditation”
- A VERY PRECIOUS SUBJECT – “my meditation of him”
- A VERY BLESSED RESULT – “my meditation of him shall be sweet”
Here are some of the things Spurgeon had to say about the practice of “God Centred” meditation
“Now, if you really knew how to count the great profit of meditation, you would deem it a positive gain to yourselves to spend some time therein, for meditation is most profitable to the spirit; it is an extremely healthful and excellent occupation. Far from being idle time, it is judicious employment of time”
“The meditative man….lays the best foundation for useful works”
“Meditation furnishes the mind with rest. It is the couch of the soul”
“The time that a man spends in necessary rest he never reckons to be wasted because he is refreshing and renovating himself for further exertion. Meditation, then, is the rest of the spirit”
“If we knew how to spend a little time daily in the calm repose of contemplative retirement (meditation) we would find ourselves less exhausted by the wear and tear of our worldly duties”
“If thou dost meditate… you will return to your business in a better spirit; you may expect to earn more that day than you ever earned before…(because you are) enabled to do more work and do it better too”
“Let me compare meditation to a wine press. By reading and research and study we gather the grapes; but it is by meditation we press out the juices of those grapes and obtain the wine”
“Meditation is the rumination of the soul, thereby we get that nutriment which feeds and supports the mind”
“The best and most saintly of men have been men of meditation. Isaac went out into the fields at eventide to meditate. David says “As for me I will meditate on thy statutes” Paul who meditated continually says to Timothy “Give thyself to meditation”
“To the Christian, meditation is most essential. I should positively deny the well being of a Christian who lives without habitual meditation”
“Meditation and prayer are twin sisters and both of them appear to me equally necessary to a Christian life”
“I think meditation must exist where there is prayer and prayer would be sure to exist where there is meditation”
“There is nothing more wanting to make Christians grow in grace than meditation”
“Most of you are painfully negligent in this matter”
“You may be refreshed by a few words while you listen to the sermon but it is the meditation afterwards which extracts the honey”
“Meditation my friends is a part of the life blood of every true Christian and we ought to abound therein”
“Let me tell you that there ought to be special times for meditation. I think every man should set apart a portion of time every day for this gracious exercise”
“The Christian will ever be in a lean state if he has no time for sacred musings before his God”
“Those men who know most of God are such as meditate most upon him”
“We shall never have much advancement in our churches until the members thereof begin to accept habitually the counsel “Commune with your own heart in your chamber and be still”. Till the din and noise of business somewhat abate and we give ourselves to calmer thought, and in the solemn silence of the mind at once our heaven and our God”
“Giant minds cannot be nourished by casual hearing; gigantic souls must have meditation to support them”
“There is enough to engross your meditation for ever, even if your attention was limited to the manner of the Father’s love”
“Take Jesus for your (meditation) theme; sit down and consider Him, think of his relation to your own soul and you will never get to the end of that one subject”
“How many of you meditate on Christ? Christian men and women, do you not live below your privileges? Are you not living without having choice moments of communion with your Jesus? If you had a free pass to heaven’s palace, you would use it very often. But here is your Jesus, the king of heaven and he gives you that which can open the gates of heaven and let you in to hold company with him and you live without meditating upon his work, meditating upon his person, meditating upon his offices and meditating upon his glory”
“Would you be strong? Would you be mighty? Would you be valiant for the Lord and useful in his cause? Take care that you follow the occupation of the psalmist David and meditate. This is a happy occupation”
Charles Spurgeon was clearly a great believer in the practice of “God Centred” meditation and undoubtedly this was the reason for the enormous impact he had on so many people in his lifetime and still does today.
Here is one last quote from CH Spurgeon that I think sums it all up beautifully…
“Is it not time we should begin to live nearer to God”
This is one of my favourite CH Spurgeon quotes. I would love you to share yours in the comments below.
If you would like to read the full notes of his sermon, please click on the link below. It is long but well worth the read! … especially the suggestions of what to meditate on in section II.