Friday, August 02, 2013

Meditation as Grinding on God's Word (Prayer Summer)

Payne Theological Seminary

I'm about to teach my last Spiritual Formation class at Payne Theological Seminary today. I'll again send the students out to pray, using Psalm 23 as their meditative focus. Add meditation on Scripture to your prayer rime. Psalm 23 is a very good place to begin, and to let God's Spirit build a house in which to rest.

Henri Nouwen explains the biblical idea of "meditation" as he writes:

"In and through silence the Word of God descends from the mind into the heart, where we can ruminate on it, masticate it, digest it, and let it become flesh and blood in us. This is the meaning of meditation. Without silence the Word cannot become our inner guide; without meditation it cannot build its home in our hearts and speak from there." (Nouwen, Spiritual Formation: Following the Movements of the Spirit)

"Masticate" - a strange sounding word meaning "to chew." It has the sense of teeth crushing or grinding food.

To meditate on Scripture is to crush God's words into the meaningful nutrition of God's heart-desires so that these God-thoughts become more than theories as they get assimilated into one's own being. As Nouwen says, God's Word builds its home in our heart. Only then can God's Word "speak from there." The fruit of Spirit-led meditation is that God's Word becomes "our inner guide."

Grind on God's Word today.