Christian Living, Prayer

How to Meditate as a Christian and Why We Must

Woman praying at sunrise
Image credit: Breslavtsev Oleg /

I could talk for hours about how to meditate as a Christian and why we absolutely can’t afford not to! There’s little that’s more critical as far as Christian disciplines go. However, when we’re facing a crisis isn’t the only time for Christian meditation.

After all, Psalm 1 tells us:

God wants us to meditate on His Word constantly. It transforms our thinking. Helping us grow up in Christ and live the way He wants us to. It helps us fight spiritual warfare and gives us unending strength and comfort.


So, what exactly does it mean to meditate as a Christian? While meditation is often associated with Hinduism, Buddhism, or Islam, the word itself simply means to focus one’s thoughts on something.

Christian meditation is no more than simply thinking deeply about God’s Word. It’s especially associated with understanding the meaning of a particular passage, applying it to our lives, and praying about it.


While Christian meditation can be broken down into steps for the purpose of understanding what it looks like in action, the process is actually pretty fluid. For example, we might think of praying for understanding about the passage we’re meditating on as an isolated step in meditation.

In reality, we might end up praying about the Scripture we’re thinking about every step of the way. So, these steps are just an example of what Christian meditation can look like. 


The first step in Christian meditation is choosing a verse or passage of Scripture and ensuring you understand it in the context of what comes before and after. A good study Bible can help if you’ve read the surrounding verses and still aren’t sure of the meaning.

One great place to find verses or passages for meditation is your daily Bible reading.

By choosing a verse or passage from your own reading, you’ll already have a sense of its meaning from the context.

Another great place to find Scripture for meditation is in the sermons you listen to. When you choose Scripture for meditation this way, you’ll already have help understanding it from a trusted Pastor.


After you’ve chosen your Scripture for meditation, ask the Holy Spirit to clarify the meaning. Then, ask Him to help you apply it to your life.

As mentioned above, Christian meditation is a fluid process. We’re breaking it into separate steps for the purpose of understanding what it might look like. Since prayer is an integral part of meditating on God’s Word, it may be that you end up praying about your passage throughout all the different steps.


The next part of Christian meditation is to ponder the meaning more deeply. Here’s why it’s so critical that at some point we read and understand the context of the verse or passage we’ve chosen.

We don’t want to just pull something out of our hat and decide the passage means something God never meant at all!

So for example, with Psalm 23:1, we might focus on the word shepherd. What does it mean to have God as a shepherd? We know that the rest of Psalm 23 contains beautiful descriptions of how God cares for those who follow him as Shepherd.

From these parts of this beloved Psalm, we get a picture of our Shepherd God as one who lovingly provides for us.

In the same way, we can also focus on the word Lord, noting that this Shepherd of ours is the one in charge of us. Therefore, he’s to be obeyed in all things no matter where he leads us.

This is just the beginning of the precious truths we can glean from meditating on this one simple verse!


At this point, we’ve already asked the Holy Spirit to help us apply our verse to our own lives, so He’s sure to be working. Now is the time to focus on how God may be speaking to us through our chosen verse.

How does he want us to think and live differently based on the verse or passage we’re meditating on?

I found that meditating on Psalm 23:1 was especially comforting as I went through various difficult periods in my life.

After praying about and pondering this verse, God reminds me that I am not alone, as I deal with the many storms in my life. The Lord is right there with me, and I can look to Him to lead and guide me through any unfamiliar and rough terrain. I can expect that God would meet all of my needs, including providing the strength and comfort I needed to get through.


Another important step when considering how to meditate as Christians is to pray about all that God has revealed to us. 

We may have already been praying as we move through each of the steps, but especially as we reach the end of our meditation time, prayer is critical.

God has just revealed Himself to us through His Word and shown us how a particular verse or passage applies to us in our circumstances.

At the very least, we’ll want to thank him for all that he’s shown us.


Is Christian meditation a panacea that will cure all our problems?

No, unfortunately in another beloved passage, God has told us that we’ll have trouble in this world.

Yet meditating on the truths found in the precious Word of our Lord is one way we can live in obedience and victory, even as the storms of life rage around us.

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Susan is a mother of four beautiful babies and a born-again Christian. She took over Hope No Matter What in 2024 and enjoys sharing her knowledge of the goodness and faithfulness of God. Her passion is to bring hope and encouragement to others, and she prays that by sharing her knowledge and personal story, she can inspire others to find enlightenment in God's word.