“I will meditate on your precepts, and fix my eyes on your ways. I will delight in your statutes; I will not forget your word.” Psalm 119:15, 16
What do you think about? What preoccupies your mind? What is the first thing you think about when you wake up in morning? What is the last thing you think about before you fall asleep? What do you spend time worrying about?
Our minds control our emotions. What we think about determines our mood, our attitude, our perspectives, our will. We cannot do anything without thinking about it. If then we could control what is in our minds, we could guide our lives into the way of peace. Isaiah 26:3 says, “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.”
Down through the centuries people have wrestled with how to keep their minds focused on God. John Calvin said that one ought to pray: when one arose; before work; before and after each meal; and before bed. 17th century monk Brother Lawrence tried to “practice the presence of God” by keeping himself conscious of God even in the most menial activities. Various religious orders recite the complete book of Psalms each week in order to bring the prayer book of the church into their minds. The Apostle Paul said that he tried to “take every thought captive to obey Christ” (II Corinthians 10:5).
One classic way to bring God’s peace to our minds is to go to sleep with a prayer or verse of scripture in our minds. There is always something to pray about. If nothing else we all need to say, “Thank you.” To end our conscious day with prayer to God is a ancient practice used by the saints through the centuries.
The Bible also gives us many resources for meditation. One easy method is to find a verse of scripture to hold in our mind as we go to sleep. The best verses are short promises that bring us comfort. If we wake up in the middle of the night, we can continue our meditation on the verse until we fall back to sleep.
One can flip through the psalms and find many good verses to use in meditation. For example: “As a deer longs for flowing streams, so my soul longs for you, O God” (42:1). Or, “The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge” (46:7). Or, “Hear my prayer, O God; give ear to the words of my mouth” (54:2). Or, “Give thanks to the Lord for he is good” (107:1).
If we want peace of mind, we should seek to fill our mind with God’s words and our prayers.
With Warm Regards,