91 Biblical & Scientific Benefits of Christian Meditation
The benefits of meditation flood the Internet and popular media. Google searches produce endless lists of medical research, clinical data, meditation methods, ideologies, popular voices, and personal testimonies about the power of this practice. Christian meditation is opposed to and holistically differs in philosophy, focus, and practice from the types of meditation commonly studied.
The methods commonly researched include: Transcendental Meditation, Vipassan, Sajaha & Kundalini yoga, mindfulness, and others. However, the research, from prestigious organizations suggests a cornocopia of incredible benefits.
Some of the respected institutions that have systematically studied the effects of meditation are: Harvard Medical School, UCLA Medical School, University of Massachusetts Medical School, National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), Massachusetts General Hospital, Johns Hopkins, Northeastern University, University of Chicago, New York University, Kaiser Permanente, Keck School of Medicine of USC, Emory University, University of Sussex… and more!
It is beautiful when legitimate scientific discovery and research affirm simple truths of Scripture and God's divine, cellular construction of humanity!
One Science Important Caveat: Many scientific and medical studies have been completed since the 1970s, when meditation started gaining popularity and cultural traction. However, partly due to the subjectivity and testability of the subject matter, many studies struggle maintaining fundamental scientific validity and quality (i.e. sample size, empirical substantiation, statistical significance, accurate measurement, reproduceability, reliability, independent vs. dependent variables, control groups, constancy, etc.).
This fact makes interpretting results accurately a challenge. Researchers work to improve methodologies and better define meditation to produce clearer, more accurate results. Rigorous design and execution continue to be needed. Therefore, caution must be taken when reading facts and figures derived from scientific studies.
Check out these 91 benefits of Christian meditation broken into helpful categories!
Christian Meditation Cultivates Intimacy with & Worship of God
The practice of Christian meditation…
- Brings understanding, according to the psalmist of Psalm 49:3.
- Enables you to rest in God’s presence and enjoy Him.
- Speeds your spiritual growth.
- Results in blessings from God, as described in Psalm 1:1-2.
- Keeps you from forgetting God’s Word. (Psalm 119:16)
- Produces greater intimacy with God.
- Expands your worship and praise of God.
- Expresses your love to God. (Psalm 119:97)
- Allows the Holy Spirit to speak truth to you.
- Grows your faith in God. (Romans 10:17)
Biblical Meditation Grows Your Knowledge of God
The focus of Christian meditation is God and the Scriptures. Therefore, it helps you understand the attributes of God as He reveals through the Bible. These include his joy, intimacy, power, love, gracy, foreknowledge, mercy, magnanimity, sovereignty, goodness, trinitarianism, jealousy, immanence, immutability, eternite, holiness, simplicity, oneness, mystery, omnimpotence, righteousness , wrath, omniscience, mission, infinity, transcendence, omnipresences… and so much more!
Meditating on the attributes of God…
- Allows you to find God worthy of trust.
- Gives you an understanding of God’s unfailing love, as expressed in Psalm 48:9.
- Brings to mind God’s mighty deeds, as mentioned in Psalm 77:12.
- Opens opportunities to discover the qualities of the Almighty God. (Psalm 77:6-9)
- Speaks of God’s majesty and wonderful works, according to Psalm 145:5.
- Recognizes God’s great works with joy, as illustrated in Psalm 111:2.
- Helps you see God’s ways. (Genesis 24:63-65)
- Reminds you that God hears your meditations and responds to them as in Psalm 5:1.
- Teaches you that biblical reflection pleases God as David longs for in Psalm 19:14.
- Leads you to delight in God, as seen in Psalm 104:34.
- Enables you to give praise to God, like David does in Psalm 63:5-6.
- Revisits God’s majesty. (Psalm 77:12-14)
Understanding Who You are in Christ Becomes Clear With Christian Meditation
Through the practice of biblical meditation, you also come to understand who you are in Christ. This identity differs from the one offered to us by people.
- Enables you to keep a balanced perspective of who you are, not too high or too low. (Romans 12:3)
- Humbles you in the presence of God’s greatness, as demonstrated in Psalm 77:11-13.
- Raises your awareness of personal thoughts as studied by C.J. Dahl, et. al.
- Helps you get to know yourself as reported in the journal Perspectives on Psychological Science.
- Brings a sense of life purpose, according to research by B.L. Fredrickson.
- Focuses your mission of living for Jesus, as mentioned in 1 Timothy 4:15.
- Increases your boldness in proclaiming God’s attributes and the gospel. (Psalm 111:1-2)
- Grows you to be more like Christ.
Meditation Helps You Glean Biblical Guidance & Wisdom for Life
“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16-17). Meditating offers a practical way to access the life-transforming power of God’s Word.
The discipline of Biblical meditation…
- Grows your knowledge of God and His Word as a means to fulfill Philippians 3:10.
- Grants you wisdom above your enemies and teachers. (Psalm 119:97-100)
- Offers God’s protection when trouble arises as David suggests in Psalm 27:4-5.
- Gives you a plan when attacked by others, as illustrated in Psalm 119:23.
- Protects you from following the ways of wickedness and sin. (Psalm 1:1-2)
- Builds your self-control, especially over the words you speak, as described in Psalm 39:1-4.
- Keeps your way pure when God’s Word is the subject, as specified in Psalm 119:9-15.
- Helps you stay the course of following God. (Psalm 119:78)
- Commits God’s commands to memory, so they are always with you, as seen in Psalm 119:97-98.
- Offers a means of seeking God, according to Psalm 143-4-6.
- Provides a way of remembering God. (Psalm 143:5)
Acquire Motivation, Encouragement & Inspiration for Christian Living Comes Through Meditation
James 2:20 reminds that “faith without works is dead.” Christian meditation empowers you with the knowledge and strength to act on your faith.
Meditating on Scripture…
- Grows your obedience to the Scriptures.
- Shows you how to live according to God’s Word. (Joshua 1:8)
- Turns your actions to those which please God as David explains in Psalm 19:7,14.
- Keeps you acting in ways that satisfy God – its absence leads you astray. (Psalm 5:6)
- Causes you to recognize the weight of your sin with trembling as in Psalm 4:4.
- Helps you overcome sin and temptation as David knew well in Psalm 119:11.
- Makes space for you to ask questions of God as the psalmist did in Psalm 77:6-9.
- Helps you memorize Scripture as you read and review verses over and over in your mind.
- Gives you a foundation to pray biblically as you learn what God’s Word says.
- Offers comfort in times of distress, as it did the psalmist in Psalm 77:2-3.
- Brings strength in times of trouble and weariness, according to Psalm 77:1-2.
- Focuses you on God when you are too weak to do anything else. (Psalm 77:3-4)
- Establishes your direction, like the way it acted as a light for the psalmist’s feet in Psalm 119:97,105.
- Encourages your faith when you meditate on Jesus’ example, as described in Hebrews 3.
- Causes you to “not grow weary and lose heart” by thinking on Jesus’ sacrifice, as mentioned in Hebrews 12:3.
Biblical Meditation Enables You to Realize Emotional Health
Both the scientific community and Scripture affirm that meditation improves emotional well-being. While the definitions and understandings of the practice may differ, research findings prove useful in understanding the benefits Christian meditation has to offer.
- Brings joy, according to the psalmist’s experience in Psalm 104:34.
- Increases positive thinking and optimism, as proven by research such as in Psychosomatic Medicine.
- Brings satisfaction as indicated by David in Psalm 63:5-6.
- Offers peace when meditating on things such as those in Philippians 4:8.
- Decreases stress symptoms and cortisol levels as scientists reported in Brain, Behavior, and Immunity.
- Results in fewer signs of depression, according to JAMA Internal Medicine and others.
- Reduces anxiety, as suggested by a massive research meta-analysis conducted by D.W. Orme-Johnson and V.A. Barnes.
- Improves the quality of life for people with PTSD, according to initial research.
Meditation Powerfully Impacts Physical Health & Immunity
The physical health benefits of meditation cannot be denied. Research continues to find positive outcomes to practicing a discipline that God ordained, beginning in Genesis.
Developing a Christian meditation practice…
- Decreases fatigue and insomnia, as reported in JAMA Internal Medicine.
- Improves symptoms of stress-related conditions, such as fibromyalgia.
- Helps relieve symptoms and stress of chronic illness while comforting sufferers.
- Reduces chronic pain, according to a systematic review and meta-analysis in JAMA Internal Medicine.
- Strengthens the immune system by altering your body's mechanics.
- Lowers blood pressure readings, as proven by a systematic review and meta-analysis.
- Decreases the risk of heart disease, as evidenced by a J.K. Boehm study and the support of the American Heart Association.
Meditation Offers Brain Boosts & Increases Mental Performance
Meditation impacts the body and the mind. Several cognitive functions improve with the development of a regular meditation practice.
Meditating on Scripture…
- Improves your focus and attention by “enhancing the functioning of specific subcomponents of attention.”
- Boosts your creativity and idea generation, according to Professor Jonathan Schooler.
- Improves your ability to multi-task with reduced stress, better memory, and greater task focus.
- Enhances your working memory, as indicated by studies.
- Increases your attention span in just four days.
Enjoy Better Relationships & Emotional Health with Meditation
Social interactions also benefit from individual meditation. Relationships between friends, colleagues and significant others improve with biblical reflection for several reasons as detailed below.
Christian meditation can…
- Decrease loneliness, particularly in older adults.
- Increase compassion toward others through kindness meditation.
- Enable you to teach and encourage others with God’s wisdom in the spirit of Colossians 3:16.
- Ignite social warmth as measured by a personality assessment.
- Result in less social anxiety, according to a systematic review and meta-analysis of available evidence.
- Reduce marital conflict through scientifically-based strategies.
- Enhance anger management and regulation of other emotions.
- Boost your emotional intelligence (the ability to express feelings and handle interpersonal relationships well).
Meditation You to Experience TRUE Success & Prosperity
While science supports the idea that financial and life success come through meditation, Christian meditation disagrees with the world’s definition of these terms. (See the Institute for Faith, Work & Economics article offering three Christian views of success.)
This is NOT the prosperity “Gospel” that promises worldy wealth. God blesses according to His definitions of prosperity. The research and Scripture must be interpreted with this in mind.
Those practicing Christian meditation…
- Are nourished, get results, and do not grow weary, according to Psalm 1:2-3.
- Experience prosperity and success when the practice is centered on the Scriptures. (Joshua 1:8; Psalm 1:2-3)
- Show increased productivity in high-performance situations.
- Score higher academically (an improvement of 16 percentile-points on the GRE).
- Overcome addictive behaviors such as alcoholism and eating disorders.
- Experience progress in godliness, as described by Paul in 1 Timothy 4:15.
- Realize their own salvation and that of others. (1 Timothy 4:15-16)