Last week I had the pleasure of reading an article by Joel Beeke, “The Puritan Practice of Meditation,” one of several available on the HNRC website, which I heartily recommend.
Sadly, most people today associate “meditation” with “unbiblical ‘New Age’ spirituality,” as Beeke put it, and the Christian discipline of meditation has largely been abandoned, with grave consequences. Exemplifying the rigorous style of the Puritans themselves, Beeke’s article covers: 1) the definition, nature, and kinds of meditation; 2) the duty and necessity of meditation; 3) the manner of meditation; 4) the subjects of meditation; 5) the benefits of meditation; 6) the obstacles of meditation; and concludes with meditation as self-examination.
Beeke gleaned seven reasons from the Puritans revealing why meditation is such an important duty for every Christian:
- God commands us to meditate on his word (this should be reason enough alone).
- We should meditate on the Word as a letter God has written to us.
- One cannot be a solid Christian without meditating.
- Without meditation, the Word preached will fail to profit us.
- Without meditation, our prayers will be less effective.
- Christians who fail to meditate will be unable to defend the truth.
- For ministers, meditation is a vital part of sermon preparation.
The article has 113 endnotes for those interested in additional reading on this neglected topic in our day. Take up and read!