Friday, May 22, 2015

Meditation in Keller's book on prayer

In the tenth chapter in Timothy Keller's book on prayer the author focuses on meditation. He elicits the help of renowned theologian and pastor John Owen to discuss this oft misunderstood discipline. In summarizing Owen's teaching on meditation, Keller writes:
According to Owen, meditation means analyzing the truth with the mind; bringing it into the feelings, attitudes, and commitments of the heart; and then responding to the degree to which the Holy Spirit gives illumination and spiritual reality.
Alternatively, Keller also paraphrase these ideas into his own summary of meditation:
We could say that meditation before prayer consists of thinking. then inclining, and, finally, either enjoying the presence or admitting the absence and asking for his mercy and help. Meditation is thinking a truth out and then thinking a truth in until its ideas become "big" and "sweet," moving and affecting, and until the reality of God is sensed upon the heart.
I find both these summaries helpful. And in contemplating them, I must confess that I think I do a reasonable job of "thinking a truth out" but I am often negligent in "thinking a truth in." I want and need to get the practice of internalizing the truth of Scripture in the heart, so my affections are raised, more consistent in my prayer life. This is edifying stuff by Keller and Owen!

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