Inside: Has someone suggested meditation to you to help with anxiety and you’re wondering if a Christian can do it? Tips for meditation techniques for anxiety!
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The fact that I mentioned the word “anxiety” and meditation has already caused a few of you to raise the hairs on the back of your neck.
Some have already shot me down, and they have decided not to read further because I must not be a real Christian.
It’s too “New Age.”
It’s too Buddhist.
And I might be flirting with some eastern religion to even write about this topic.
Because I’ve had a few commenters give me their feelings in blog posts from the past, and I wanted to set the record straight.
Before any of those other religions even existed, God desired for us to meditate. It is written in His word multiple times.
However, the way God commands us to do it is different from other religions and New Age techniques.
The Current Models of Meditation
The buzz word, mediation, in our culture today can mean two different things.
First, someone might be talking about Concentration Meditation where the person focuses on a single object while emptying the mind.
The mind trains to go for longer and longer periods of time.
I’d compare this to the training for a sports event where conditioning needs to happen and endurance increases through time.
The second popular one is: Mindfulness Meditation. This focuses on the patterns of thoughts coming into the mind.
The person learns to just see the thoughts without judgment, but rather examining them, and then letting these thoughts pass.
The benefits to these types of meditation are:
- Lower blood pressure
- Improved blood circulation
- Lower heart rate
- Less perspiration
- Slower respiratory rate
- Less anxiety
- Lower blood cortisol levels
- More feelings of well-being
- Less stress
- Deeper relaxation
In Joshua 1:8, God’s word tells us:
8 Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do.
Thus, God wants us to focus on His word.
To illustrate, the Hebrew words for meditation are
Therefore, what we focus on directly leads to our thinking, our actions, and behavior.
When we meditate on God’s Word, we connect with God in greater ways; we remind ourselves of His character, and we reaffirm to ourselves His faithfulness and track record.
All of these insights accomplish the same things that “New Age” meditation boasts about, in fact, might I argue that it creates a greater and longer-lasting benefit.
“Meditation is focused thinking. It takes serious effort. You select a verse and reflect on it over and over in your mind…if you know how to worry, you already know how to meditate.” ~Rick Warren
“No other habit can do more to transform your life and make you more like Jesus than daily reflection on Scripture…If you look up all the times God speaks about meditation in the Bible, you will amazed at the benefits He has promised to those who take the time to reflect on His Word throughout the day” ~Rick Warren
Christian Meditation Techniques for Anxiety
When we think of the current culture of meditation, we might envision:
- burning candles
- rugs and pillows
- sitting with open palms faced towards Heaven
During Christian meditation, we can speak the Word out loud over and over, write the Word, study the Word, sing the Word, or even just think about God’s word.
In other words, it’s a deep contemplation with the goal of growing in faith and developing a stronger relationship with God.
As you can see, this type isn’t just contained to a certain place or time. It can happen spontaneously during the day and night.
Asking the Right Questions
As a Christian, it’s so easy to hear another brother and sister participating in something and waving the “you’re sinning card” in their face. Perhaps we hear another sister is practicing meditation as a way to decrease her anxiety.
Before we think she’s becoming “new age” we should ask the right questions instead of simply falling our own thoughts and offering blanket statements.
We need to be careful of not becoming like the Pharisees of the New Testament and letting pride or legalism dictate.
Therefore, ask her how she meditates. Depending on the answer, we can be supportive of Christian meditation and how it draws a closer relationship and deeper faith.
If it’s one of the other types of meditation, we can ask for further explanation while not attacking.
However, if it sounds like it’s drawing them away from God, we need to be an encourager, but also remember that each of us is convicted by the Holy Spirit.
What we might not feel comfortable doing due to the conviction of the Holy Spirit within us might be different for someone else.
While Christian meditation can be a remedy to anxiety, focusing on God will help everyone as we journey through this world.
We can join together and practice meditating on God’s word together.
Taking time to spend time in God’s presence can help all of us.
10 “Be still, and know that I am God!
I will be honored by every nation.
I will be honored throughout the world.”
Verses About Meditation
63 One evening as he was walking and meditating in the fields, he looked up and saw the camels coming.
3 You will keep in perfect peace
all who trust in you,
all whose thoughts are fixed on you!
For more verses and a printable for you, click on the pdf below!
If you’re looking for some Essential oils to help you focus when you’re meditating on God’s Word: