"The reason we come away so cold from reading the word is, because we do not warm ourselves at the fire of meditation." — Thomas Watson
This past Sunday I taught on the importance of dealing with distractions in our prayer life.
Our minds tend to think about our problems, anxieties, fears, desires… the list goes on and on.
The result is a prayer life we struggle to enjoy because we are so distracted. Eventually, we stop praying altogether.
One way to overcome these distractions is to learn to meditate on the Word of God, a.k.a. - the Bible!
When reading the Bible, slow down and allow the Holy Spirit to permeate the Scripture into your heart. Our motivation to pray and spend time with our heavenly Father will move from obedience to desire.
Martin Luther said that if you warm your heart through meditation on the Scriptures, so that your heart starts to really warm up, you go into prayer because you want to pray, because you want to praise him for what you see, and you want to confess your sins.
As I sat down on Monday morning to pray, my mind was racing. I felt distracted by all I had to do and some family drama that was happening. I decided to take my own advice and meditate on the same Scripture we looked at on Sunday. My hope was that what I taught on Sunday may actually work!
"O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water." Psalm 63:1
I read it, then I read it again, then again.
My mind still racing, I closed my eyes and started memorizing it. Word by word, line by line, verse by verse. Slowly, all my concentration was on the verse.
I still felt pulled to lose focus, but the Holy Spirit had me and I didn't want to miss what God was saying to me. I began to write what I was feeling in my heart.
I began at the end of the verse and worked backward, all the time allowing the Holy Spirit to lead me through and give me hope.
This is what I journaled:
Jesus, you are my salvation, my strength and my hope. I am in a land that feels dry, with no life, and I feel like I have no hope. (I am overwhelmed by life's circumstances)
This causes me to give up, disengage and feel worn out. (causes my flesh or body to faint)
I am thirsty for you. My soul needs hope that only you can give.(my soul thirsts for you)
So I seek you Jesus, my God. Meet me in my seeking, that my hope would be restored, that my resolve would be strengthened.
I will testify to your faithfulness, that it is my God who loves me and walks with me and rescues me.
I left that morning with a renewed sense of hope and strength. I believed in my heart that Jesus was with me. I believed there was hope for the situations in my life that were overwhelming me.
The Holy Spirit silenced my distractions through meditating and memorizing God’s promises to me through His written Word.
As I meditated on it in my mind, the Holy Spirit moved it into my heart. I left believing it was true, even though my circumstances had not changed.
We all need this every day. I struggle like everyone else to make this a regular part of my life. But when I do, it is always worth it. We need to stop allowing distractions from robbing us of the hope, encouragement, and blessing that God, our Good Father, has stored up for us in His Word.
"Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!" Psalm 34:8