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Saturday, June 18, 2016

A Battle Plan for the Mind: Strategies for Meditating on Scripture

General Strategies for Meditating on Scripture:
  1. Make time for meditation.
  2. Choose a place for meditation.
  3. Learn to linger in meditation.
  4. Keep consistent in meditation.
  5. Remember the goal of meditation.
  6. Choose a subject for meditation.
  7. Pray for help with meditation. 
Specific Strategies for Meditating on Scripture:
  1. Memorize the text.
  2. Read different translations of the same text. 
  3. Reread the same text several times.
  4. Record observations of the text.
  5. Relate propositions to one another by tracing the logic of the text.
  6. Repeat the verse or phrase emphasizing a different word each time. 
  7. Rewrite the verse or phrase in your own words.
  8. Retell the story or explain the text aloud.
  9. Recall past experiences when you or others have witnessed the truthfulness of this text.
  10. Research cross-references to shed more light on the text.
  11. Respond to the text.
  12. Ask relevant questions of the text:
    • Philippians 4:8 questions: What is true or what truth does it exemplify? What is honorable about it? What is right about it? What is pure or how does it exemplify purity? What is lovely about it? What is admirable or commendable about it? What is excellent about it? What is praiseworthy about it? 
    • “Joseph Hall” Questions: What is it (define and/or describe what it is)? What are its divisions or parts? What causes it? What does it cause (its fruits and effects)? What is its place, location or use?  What are its qualities and characteristics? What is its opposite or what is different from it? What compares to it? What are its titles or names?  What other scriptures serve as testimonies or examples of it?
  1. Discern the main point of the text.
  2. Formulate a principle from the text.
  3. Pray through the text.
  4. Invite others to meditate on the text with you.
*Some of these strategies are adapted from Don Whitney’s Methods of Meditation on Scripture ( and David Saxton’s fine work entitled God’s Battle Plan for the Mind: The Puritan Practice of Biblical Meditation.