Prayer and Meditation
Prayer is to the
spiritual man what breath is to the physical. No
one can survive without breathing; and no
Christian will long continue as a Christian
without prayer. There are individuals who are
physically weak for no other reason than lack of
life-giving air. If they would but open the
windows and inhale Gods free gift they
might be well. However, they continue to breathe
stale, vitiated, and contaminated air and are
slowly dying without knowing the cause. Renewed
life might freely be theirs for the taking.
In the same manner, some
Christians are dying for lack of the life-giving
breath of prayer. If they would but open their
windows to heaven and draw deep breaths, their
whole being would be invigorated, and new
vitality and spiritual health would come to them.
Some persons neglect to
pray because they have had an unsatisfactory
experience with prayer. They have prayed, but God
has not seemed to take any interest in them. With
David they say, My God, my God, why hast
Thou forsaken me? Why art Thou so far from
helping me, and from the words of my roaring? O
my god, I cry in the daytime, but Thou hearest
not; and in the night season, and am not
silent. Psalm 22:1,2. They wonder if
God has forsaken them and if it were better to
cease praying. Their experience with prayer,
their whole Christian experience, is
unsatisfying. What are they to do?
Let such souls read and
heed the following scripture: My soul shall
be satisfied as with marrow and fatness; and my
mouth shall praise Thee with joyful lips: when I
remember Thee upon my bed, and mediate on Thee in
the night watches. Psalm 63:5,6.
Note the glorious
promise, My soul shall be satisfied.
This is exactly what these dear souls desire and
what they are anxiously waiting for. They have
prayed, and again and again, they have hoped that
God in some way would manifest Himself; but He
seems to have forgotten them. So, they pray again
and again for years, but still no result. A few
times, they have had a taste of joy that might be
theirs, but it was only momentarily, and again
they were left to grope their way. For them there
is no balm in Gilead.
Now comes the joyful news
that it is possible to find satisfaction in
prayer. My soul shall be satisfied.
But how? Immediately follows the answer,
When I remember Thee on my bed, and
meditate on Thee in the night watches.
Meditation is the better
part of prayer. In prayer, we speak to God; in
meditation, God speaks to us. Not until we have
learned the secret of waiting upon God will we
enjoy the sweet communion that God reserves for
those who wait upon Him. When we have learned it,
the promise that we shall be satisfied will be
Note the reading
carefully: My soul shall be satisfied
when I remember Thee upon my bed, and
meditate on Thee in the night watches. To
this let us add two more statements: My
soul, wait thou in silence for God. Psalm
62:5. A.R.V. Stand in awe, and sin not:
commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be
still. Psalm 4:4.
Most Christians offer a
little prayer at the bedside before retiring for
the night. Having said their prayer,
they are ready for sleep. It is this little time
between prayer and sleep to which the psalmist
refers. He counsels us to remember God at this
time, and meditate. Meditate is defined: To
think about; to contemplate; to plan, intend,
purpose; to think deeply and continuously, to
reflect, ponder, muse, solemn reflection on
sacred matters. The psalmist calls this to
commune with your own heart upon your
bed. Verse 4.
Man has this advantage
over brute creation: He has the power of
self-reflection and self-criticism. He can stand
himself up in a corner, as it were, and examine
himself. Let a man examine himself. 1
Corinthians 11:28. Examine yourselves;
prove your own selves. 2 Corinthians
13:5. This the Christian can do, and the
The Christian can judge
himself. He can do what God recommends, commune
with his own heart upon his bed and think things
through. Thus, when he has finished his evening
prayer, instead of going to sleep immediately,
let him spend a little more time in
self-examination and meditation.
not ordinarily be the end of our interview with
god. When we do this, we are bidding God good
night when He not be ready to be dismissed.
Saying Amen is hanging up
on God, telling Him we are done, and cutting off
communication. He may not think it courteous of
us to talk as long as we please, and the moment
we are done, cut off all further communication.
We do not give Him opportunity to get in a word.
Suddenly He finds Himself cut off. This cannot
To avoid this
embarrassment, God asks us to spend a little time
in meditation. He wants us to be still and wait
in silence. We might even pray as did Samuel,
Speak, Lord; for Thy servant heareth.
1 Samuel 3:9.
How do we communicate
with God? Have we not already prayed? Yes, we
have prayed; and this is talking with God.
However, communion is more than talking. It is
also listening. Of this, we have done little.
The first step in
communion is silence-silence in the soul, waiting
upon God. Wait thou in silence for
God, we are told. You have prayed. Now you
are lying upon your bed, ready to commune with
your own heart. How is this done?
Consider this statement
from Christs Object Lessons, page 129:
If we keep the Lord ever before us,
allowing our hearts to go out in thanksgiving and
praise to Him, we shall have a continual
freshness in our religious life. Our prayers will
take on the form of a conversation with God, as
we would talk to a friend. He will speak His
mysteries to us personally. Often there will come
to us a sweet, joyful sense of the presence of
Jesus. Often our hearts will burn within us as He
draws nigh to commune with us as He did with
Conversation With God
This is not an experience
reserved for a few chosen ones; but it is open to
every Christian. Note again these soul-satisfying
statements, Often there will come to us a
sweet, joyful sense of the presence of
as He draws nigh to commune with
us as He did with Enoch. God draws near
to commune with us! What higher joy can earth
hold? If God has such in store for us, should we
not explore the possibilities of communication?
Someone will again ask,
Just what must I do to commune with God?
How do I start? Be a little more specific.
It is not for one to tell another how to pray,
but here is what one did.
Lord, I have
had a hard day today.
I am tried, Lord,
Yes, I know, dear
I am afraid I lost
my temper today, Lord. I was so nervous and tired
Yes, I know all
about it. I would gladly have helped you, had you
Lord, will You help
me tomorrow? I will have another hard day.
I will be happy to
do so. But now you must go to sleep.
Yes, Lord, I am
tried. But before I go to sleep, I want to tell
You that I love You. You have been so wonderfully
good and patient.
Yes, dear one, I
love you, too. Now go to sleep.
Isnt this merely
talking to yourself? Says one. It is, but it may
also be much more. Note again the promise quoted
above, that on such occasions there may
come to us a sweet, joyful sense of the
presence of Jesus
as He draws night to
commune with us as He did with Enoch. There
is such a possibility; can we afford to pass it
God has good reasons for
asking us to meditate and commune with Him in
silence. As we pray, we often talk aloud. Not
only does God hear what we say, but we may also
believe that Satan is an interested listener. He
learns much of our plans from what we tell God,
and uses this information to his advantage.
In meditation, it is
different. As we wait upon God in silence, Satan
is completely at a loss to know what is going on.
He cannot read out thoughts, and though he is
expert at surmising, he can never be sure. What
would not Satan give to learn what God is
confiding to us?
Paul was once taken to
the third heaven, and there he heard unspeakable
words which it is not lawful for a man to
utter. 2 Corinthians 12:2-4. The original
word for lawful is better translated
permitted or with
permission. In Acts 2:29 Peter says,
Let us freely speak, literally
it being permitted me to freely
speak. Englishmans Greek
Concordance, 7th ed., p.268. It is the
same expression as when we say, With your
permission I will speak freely. In Acts
8:37 Philips answer in reply to the
eunuchs question if he might be baptized
was, Thou mayest.
In Acts 21:37 Paul asks,
May I speak unto thee? In each case
it is the same word that is translated
lawful in 2 Corinthians 12:4.
Paul was taken to the
third heaven, and there certain instruction was
given him that he was to keep to himself and not
tell anyone. God has secrets that He reveals only
to those whom He can trust and who will not talk.
This is accordance with the principle enunciated
in Amos 3:7, Surely the Lord God will do
nothing, but He revealeth His secret unto His
servants the prophets.
One of the first
requirements of a prophet is that he will not
talk without permission, that he will be able to
keep a secret. God must have someone on earth to
whom He can trust His secrets and who will be
guided by them, but not reveal them to the enemy.
Does this mean that we
are never to pray aloud? By no means, it is well
that Satan listens when we affirm our faith in
God and express our determination to go forward
in faith whatever hindrance may come in the way.
However, there are some things we ought to talk
over with God alone. This we can do in
If we should ask the
reader if he has ever told God that he loves Him,
he would doubtless answer, Yes, many times.
I have repeatedly testified to my love for God in
social meetings and on other occasions. We
doubt not that this is true. However, it is not
to this we have reference.
Have you ever, as you are
lying quietly upon your bed, looked up into the
face of Jesus, as it were, and told Him, I
love You. That is real communion.
And you may even have had blessed assurance of
the words, I love you, too. Such is
the kind of fellowship for which God longs as
much as we.
It is astonishing how
formal we are with God. It is well that in public
worship we approach God in reverence and godly
fear. However, there are times when we as His
children may come boldly to the throne of grace
and there find help in time of need? Are there
not times when we speak freely with Him as with a
friend, informally and confidentially? Is not
this what John means when he says, That
which we have seen and heard declare we unto you,
that ye also may have fellowship with us: and
truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with
His Son Jesus Christ. 1 John 1:3.
There is a boldness that
is obnoxious and out of place, and which should
be condemned and avoided. However, there is also
a boldness which is commendable and which God
encourages. It is the boldness of a child who
unafraid approaches his father, though he is a
king before whom all men bow. To the child the
father is not so much a king who is to be feared,
as a father who is to be loved. The child does
not speak to him as a servant does with fear and
trembling, but as a child who has certain rights.
Christians are invited to
enter with boldness the holiest of all, the
throne room of God, where only the high priest
formerly entered (Hebrews 10:19); we are even to
have boldness in the Day of Judgment (1 John
4:17). It seems almost unbelievable that such can
be the case. And yet boldness is necessary for
sonship according to Hebrews 3:6, where
confidence is the word, otherwise
As children of God, we
are to come confidently to God. We are to serve
Him with reverence and godly fear,
and hold fast the confidence [boldness] and
the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the
end. Hebrews 3:6. As we do this, we may at
last be counted among those who not only are
permitted to enter the pearly gates, but who
have right to the tree of life, and may
enter in through the gates into the city.
But Christ as a
son over his own house; whose house we are, if we
hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the
hope firm unto the end. Hebrews 3:6
1. Are you
learning to gain confidence as you come
before the throne of grace?
just how important it is to meditate with
the Lord after prayer.