Meditation as Prayer

Most Christian people know very well that prayer is not just asking God, or Jesus, for help in times of need, danger or distress, although that is not a bad start.   Balanced Christian prayer also includes thanksgiving for blessings received, of which the public expression is Eucharist (for thanksgiving is what Eucharist means).  This naturally leads to adoration of God, and to interceding for others as much as praying for ourselves.   Very often Christian prayer may begin with a simple recognition of failure or sin, and so include owning up to our failures (confession) and a resolution to make amends or do better in future.  These five aspects of prayer are sometimes summed up by the acronym PACTS (Petition, Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication).

But this is by no means all that is meant by Christian prayer.

Christian prayer has another dimension which both underlies and integrates these five aspects.   It is the prayer of the heart, the prayer of love, sometimes called ‘pure prayer’, in which we leave behind all thoughts, all hopes, all fears, all worldly or even spiritual concerns, in order simply to be in God’s presence, to be with Jesus, in the power and within the guidance of the Holy Spirit.  As John Main expressed it, it is to be brought into the eternal prayer of Jesus to the Father. This is the essence of what is meant by Christian meditation. And it is the most profound reason why Christians learn to practice meditation.  

Be still and know that I am God.  Psalm 46.10

Graeme Watson