One of the greatest promises in the Bible is found in Psalm 1:2-3. This passage teaches that if we meditate on God’s Word day and night, we will be “like a tree firmly planted by streams of water” (NASB).
But how does a person prayerfully meditate day and night?
When you sleep, your conscious mind rests while your subconscious mind continues to function in order to keep your body’s organs working. But the conscious and the subconscious are in a closed-circuit relationship, so whatever your conscious was working on prior to falling asleep will be transmitted to the subconscious.
Too often we wrestle with a problem just before we go to sleep. Rather than allowing the subconscious to work on our problems and worries, we can prayerfully meditate on the Word of God while we sleep.
A simple application of this theory:
1. Read the passage intended for the next morning’s quiet time just before you go to sleep.
For example, read through Psalm 23 (NIV):
“The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me;
your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”
2. Take about three minutes to scan through the passage and ask God to highlight a word or phrase that will help you focus on Him the next day.
3. Take this with you to bed.
4. Your mind will prayerfully ponder this Scripture while you sleep, making it more likely for you to be replaying these truths in your mind the next morning.
The writer of Proverbs may be alluding to this when he writes, “When you walk about, they will guide you; When you sleep, they will watch over you; And when you awake, they will talk to you” Proverbs 6:22 (NASB).
Make God’s Word your last thought everyday, so you will be able to prayerfully meditate on the Word “day and night.”
Content adapted from Meditation, May 9, 2011, by Jim Downing. Used with permission of NavPress. All rights reserved.
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