Mindfulness and Meditation

Consider this research from Perspectives on Psychological Science that urges caution against the mindfulness and meditation of recent years. And do take note, their subject matter is (not surprisingly) entirely generic &/or non-Christian. Here’s a salient quote: “As mindfulness has increasingly pervaded every aspect of contemporary society, so have misunderstandings about what it is, whom it helps, and how it affects the mind and brain. At a practical level, the misinformation and propagation of poor research methodology can potentially lead to people being harmed, cheated, disappointed, and/or disaffected.”

What you meditate upon and are mindful of really are of the utmost importance. The world and the enemy of your soul would prefer that you adopt generic &/or non-Christian practices having to do with your mind/soul and believe it really doesn’t matter. However, the pattern of Scripture is exclusively focused on God and His Word. (Psalms 1:2; 27:4; 63:6; Romans 8:6; Colossians 3:2) The inner man (heart/mind/soul) is the domain and purview of God. (Matthew 9:4; Luke 16:15; Acts 1:24; 15:8;Romans 8:27;1 Corinthians 2:11; Revelation 2:23) As Christians, we dare not be careless in such matters. Frankly, this all goes hand-in-hand with our prayer life — our conversation with God — about which so much more can be said.

THE Focus of Lent

As I began reading from Soundtrack (JD Walt) this morning, this reminder and emphasis directly precedes the first chapter … and it couldn’t be more beautiful!

The big idea of the forty days of Lent is not first and foremost about fasting. It’s about focus. We must covenant not to talk about our fasting, but about our focus. Focus on what? Jesus Christ, God’s Son, the Savior, the Lord. Why? Because He is:
  • the Word made flesh (John 1:14)
  • the image of the invisible God (Col. 1:15)
  • the exact representation of God’s being (Heb. 1:3)
  • the One Who created all things and for Whom all things were created (Col. 1:16 and Rev. 4:11)
  • He Who is before all things and in Whom all things hold together (Col. 1:17)
  • the author and perfecter of our faith (Heb. 12:2 NASB)
  • He Who was, and is, and is to come (Rev. 1:4, 8; 4:8)
  • He Who reconciled all things to Himself by making peace through His blood shed on the cross (Col. 1:20)
  • the light of the world (John 8:12)
  • the bread of life (John 6:35)
  • the way and the truth and the life (John 14:6)
  • the gate (John 10:7, 9)
  • the door (John 10:9 NASB)
  • the resurrection and the life (John 11:25)
  • the true vine (John 15:1)
  • the One Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to His own advantage, but made Himself nothing (Phil. 2:6–7)
  • the King Who humbled Himself and became obedient to death – even death on a cross (Phil. 2:8)
  • He Whom God highly exalted and gave the name that is above every name (Phil. 2:9)
  • the One before Whom every knee will bow and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (Phil. 2:10–11)
  • the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End (Rev. 22:13)
  • He Who is making all things new (Rev. 21:5 NASB)

A Meditation in the Word

Father in Heaven, thank You for the living Word that You sent to redeem me. Lord Jesus, thank You for your faithful, humble obedience to all that the Father gave You to accomplish. With your Holy Spirit anointment me now — Spirit of the living God, fall fresh on me now I pray. Open my eyes that I may see. Open my ears that I may here. Fill my soul with your presence. Make your written Word to be light and life for me today. By the holy fire of your presence, cleanse from my soul all that is not of You. By your Word, wash me that I may be a spotless bride — sanctified and made ready for You, my Lord and my King. Let me be broken that I may be reformed in your image. By your Word, re-create in me your perfect, holy image – the image You created me to bear for your glory. As I abide in You, my Lord, abide in me — showing forth the fruit of your Love in abundance. Almighty God, hear this my plea and answer from Heaven as I now wait upon You — meditating upon your Word. Amen.

A Confessional Prayer

Almighty and most merciful Father,
we humbly confess that we have sinned,
against You and against one another,
in thought, and in word, and in deed,
by what we have done, and by what we have left undone.
We have not loved You with our whole heart, soul, mind, and strength;
we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves.
We have erred and strayed from Your ways like lost sheep,
following too much the methods and desires of our own hearts.
But You, O Lord, have mercy upon us,
forgive us as we forgive one another,
and grant repentance and healing,
according to Your promises
declared unto mankind in Christ Jesus our Lord.
O most merciful Father,
for Jesus’ sake and by Your Word,
cleanse and fill us with the Spirit of Holy Love,
sanctifying us wholly,
completing in us the work You began,
continuing unto the day of Jesus Christ,
that we may hereafter delight in Your ways,
walking worthy of You, our Lord, in loving obedience,
to the eternal glory of Your holy Name.

BCP (http://m1.bookofcommonprayer.net/penorderI.php)
Deut. 26:18
Ps. 37:23
Matt. 5:28; 6:14-15; 15:18
Mark 12:30-31
Acts 13:23
Eph. 3:6; 5:26
Col. 1:10
Phil. 1:6
2 Tim. 2:25
Jas. 4:17; 5:16
1 John 5:2