Meditation and Contemplation for Christians

Contemplation by Oleg Zhivetin

It’s time to rescue the practice of meditation for Christians today. It’s time to be clear that meditation is not only for practitioners of Eastern religions — it’s something Christians have been doing for centuries.

Scientific articles seem to be coming out daily that demonstrate the benefits of meditation, and it makes sense why people are so interested in this practice today. We live in a stressful, media-saturated, anxiety-producing world! We need to learn how to still the mind and “find rest for our souls” if we are going to survive — let alone thrive in — our over-crowded lives. And meditation helps us to do that.

The good news is the Bible — and historical Christian practice — shows us exactly how to establish habits like meditation, contemplation, and what Christians in the Eastern Orthodox tradition call “the prayer of the heart.” The bad news is that these practices seem to have been abandoned by the Western church in the past several hundred years. Now we have a situation where contemplative practices have almost exclusive associations with Eastern religions, and many Western Christians seem suspicious of them.

This is a tragedy. And it poses a huge danger for the well-being of the Church — and its members — today.

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