I just left my first Summer/September session-type class, and see now just how draining those can be. I'm happy to say, however, that they are draining in a good way. The class is Spiritual Disciplines, with Dr. Watson, so how could it be anything short of amazing. Today we talked about formative reading of scripture, and the Spiritual Masters (which is a pretty awesome title huh?), and meditation. I often conflate prayer and meditation and I think this is reasonable. Prayer means so many different things, that we do it a disservice to say almost anything isn't prayer. My definition of prayer is essentially a conversation with God. As with conversations on earth, sometimes we speak more and listen less, sometimes the opposite is true, sometimes we simply sit in a room with our spouse and say nothing; we simply look at them and marvel at how they love us so much.
If we understand prayer this way, then certainly meditating on God's promises, trying to discern His will for us in the moment, or hear His wise counsel on how to serve the annoying neighbor is prayer. I feel like this is what meditation is. Foster says, "Christian meditation, very simply, is the ability to hear God's voice and obey his word." (intentionally not citing because i'm not getting graded).
I am often exhausted, by trying to think about what God wants me to do, and remembering every little thing I need to pray for. The purpose of the spiritual disciplines, both at large and for the purposes of this post regarding meditation, is to pause, and simply listen. Thinking often gets us into trouble, but when we find the right counsel of the Holy Spirit, and when we know that we know what he is saying, there is a peace and confidence that is built into that moment. The attached link represents me far too often. If not in my prayer, then in the hurried pace of thoughts coming and going in my mind as I struggle to decide God's will, rather than discern it. Give the link a watch.