The Passion of Christ in the Gospel of Luke
A Guide to Meditation and Prayer
Week 1 - Day 1
Meditate Day and Night
Meditation on Scripture- Read Psalm 1 and write your reflections in the workbook. Use the summary below for further reflection on the passage. Prayer- Use the Guide for Prayer.
It is not by accident that this is the first psalm in the book of Psalms. It gives us the method for understanding, appreciating, and using the entire book of Psalms. The way to use the psalms is to meditate on them. That is, the psalms are Hebrew poetry. Like all poetry they are not best appreciated by a quick reading. Poetry is meant to be lingered over and reflected on. Only with time and reflection does poetry yield its fruit. The psalms are Hebrew poetry. We understand them best when we ponder them, savor them, and pray with their phrases, images, and ideas.
This is true of scripture, not just because some of it is poetry, but because it is God’s word. While the Bible yields fruit in the reading of it, it yields even greater riches with reflection. This is what Psalm 1 invites us to do, meditate on God’s words because they are full of wisdom, help, and instruction. What is meditation? It is slow reading. It is reflection. It involves thought. Meditation on scripture is like staring long at a masterful painting. The longer and closer we look, the more of the beauty of its detail we are able to recognize. Scripture yields fruit in unexpected ways if we take the time to gaze upon it with an open mind, heart, and spirit.
Psalm 1 opens with a promise of blessing. Blessed is the person who does not go the way of sinners but delights in the law of God. What does it mean to be blessed? Blessed is a word that, in the Bible, means more than just physical and material prosperity; there is a spiritual component. It is the spiritual component that is, in fact, the most important. In the Bible, some of those who are most blessed, are those who are not famous or rich. They are poor widows who give generously, lonely prophets who speak the words of God to a hostile culture, and apostles who leave everything to follow Jesus. This psalm invites us to ask what being blessed might look like for us? What would it mean if God were to bless you? What would you like God to do for you? What is your life lacking at the moment that God might provide?
Things to Consider –
· What would it look like if God were to bless someone – Materially? Emotionally? Relationally? With Knowledge? With Friends? With a sense of purpose? With meaningful work in ministry? With family?
· In which of these areas do you consider that God has blessed you?
· To what degree do you feel blessed by God? Why or why not?
· In what ways would you like God to bless you?
Guide for Prayer –
· In each of your times of prayer, I will encourage you to make a moment to settle your mind and heart. Therefore, close your eyes and take one full minute to calm your mind and gather your spirit.
· Thank God for three things for which you are thankful in your life at the moment.
· Thank God that you have the opportunity to begin this journey of meditation and prayer. Tell him one of your hopes for this time.
· Ask God to help you come to know the Bible better and draw closer to him during this journey.
· Think about one area in which you would like God to bless you. Humbly ask him to extend his grace to you in this area of your life.
· At the beginning of this process, commit these spiritual exercises to God. Ask for his help to complete them as an act of faith and obedience.
· It may be that these suggestions for prayer will not only give direction and substance to your prayers but be quality preparation for prayer. At the end of this time, take some moments to offer your own prayers to God and feel God’s presence. Offer whatever additional prayers and praises seem appropriate.