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  • Writer's pictureKristina Trott

How to meditate

Pete told me that once, when he was going through a particularly intense period of betrayal and upset, that he started memorising the psalms and reciting them to himself whenever he felt overwhelmed. I know that at times in my life when I have felt distressed, I would sing hymns from the Scottish psalter -- essentially psalms that have been cleverly rearranged to music. Unwittingly we had both stumbled upon the Hebrew method of meditation.

Let’s look at the word and how it is used in Psalm 1:2-3:

(Blessed is the man whose) “delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper.”

We note a few things in these verses. God commends the man who meditates continually, day and night. The person who meditates is stable, well-rooted and fruitful in whatever they do.

My Bible has this note about the word, 'meditates':

“MEDITATES. (Ps. 1:2) hagah (hah-gah); Strong’s #1897: To reflect; to moan, to mutter; to ponder; to make a quiet sound such as sighing; to meditate or contemplate something as one repeats the words. Hagah represents something quite unlike the English “meditation,” which may be a mental exercise only. In Hebrew thought, to meditate upon the Scriptures is to quietly repeat them in a soft, droning sound, while utterly abandoning outside distractions.

From this tradition comes a specialized type of Jewish prayer called “davening,” that is, reciting texts, praying intense prayers, or getting lost in communion with God while bowing or rocking back and forth. Evidently this dynamic form of meditation-prayer goes back to David’s time.” *

So still your mind and give this ancient kind of meditation a go and enjoy the peace and calm that is promised: “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You” (Isa. 26:3).

*from Hayford, Jack W. ; Thomas Nelson Publishers: Hayford's Bible Handbook. Nashville : Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1995

All quotes from the NKJV.

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