Prayer is the prelude to peace, the prologue to power, the preface to purpose and the pathway to perfection. Prayer is the most powerful thing we humans can do. Prayer unites us with God, so that God's power can work through us. Prayer is so easy that we can do it with our eyes shut!
As significant as prayer is, however, there is another tool that can enhance our prayers and thus our spiritual vitality. That tool is meditation. The Bible, which is a book about turning the ordinary person into an extraordinary one, says that taking time to quiet ourselves before God in meditation can be beneficial.
We are familiar with references to meditation in the Bible such as Psalm 4:4, "Meditate within your heart on your bed, and be still" and Psalm 119:15, "I will meditate on Your precepts, and contemplate Your ways."
Another powerful scripture on meditation is found in Joshua 1:8, "This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success."
Even though David pours out his heart to God in the Psalms and encourages us to do the same in Psalm 62:8, he also says in verses 1 and 5, "Truly my soul silently waits for God; from Him comes my salvation . . . My soul, wait silently for God alone, for my expectation is from Him." The suggestion here is to take time to still our minds and consider what God is saying.
While looking at Psalm 62, we also notice that verses 4 and 8 end with the word Selah. This Hebrew word is found 71 times in the book of Psalms and three times in the book of Habakkuk. Selah can indicate a pause or rest. Therefore, it follows that it can be meaningful to include a selah, or an occasional pause, in our own prayers for quiet reflection.
Other scriptures also indicate that after praying, there is a time to simply wait in quiet expectation for help from God: "Wait on the LORD; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart" (Psalm 27:14). "It is good that one should hope and wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD" (Lamentations 3:26). And in Isaiah 30:15: "For thus says the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel: 'In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and confidence shall be your strength.'"
The value of persistent prayer and meditation is not that God will hear us, but that we will hear Him. Remember in 1 Samuel 3:10, young Samuel said to the Lord, "Speak, for your servant hears." Samuel didn't say, "Listen, Lord, Your servant speaks." We know that God is aware of what we need before we ask, that He will supply all of the requirements for living, and that His eye is on even the sparrow.
Meditation supports our conscious "attunement" or at-one-ment with God so that we can be aware of His active presence and power in our lives. Scripture says, "You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You . . ." (Isaiah 26:3). In the silence we are seeking God. His still small voice is always available, telling us the His perfect way to go.
Let's also be receptive to the indwelling Holy Spirit, which is always at work in and through us and in all circumstances and conditions to make things right. God will neither leave us nor forsake us, and is the strength to see us through. Remember that wherever we are, God is there too. God is real and with us at all times. A cell phone is not required to keep in contact with God! We may or may not receive instant answers, but we are honoring God when we surrender to Him in prayer and in silence. Kneeling in our thoughts and hearts to the will of God is a key to conversion. We do have a part in having a spiritual consciousness. Paul says in Philipians 4:8, "Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy--meditate on these things."
God can light up our lives with a new awareness of His presence and power. Allow Him to take us by the hand and lead us in the way and the truth and the life. Let's nurture our relationship with our Heavenly Father, maintaining the vision of our spiritual heritage and our glorious future in God's Kingdom. Allow the solutions, answers and even the ideas to come from God!
In conclusion, taking time to be silent can be helpful in receiving God's guidance and help. Meditation is a tool for spiritual health. God can speak to us, guide us, lead us, and reveal Himself to us as we pray and meditate.