This article was originally published on 5/7/2015 at ihopkc.org and has been reposted here with permission.
Years ago, Kirk Bennett, a senior leader here at IHOPKC, found himself reflecting on 2 Timothy 2:15 with more than a little frustration.
“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15, KJV)
With little understanding of biblical Greek, Kirk felt challenged as to how to understand and practice this verse in relation to his prayer times. He later learned that the word study meant being diligent, continuing the practice, or meditating, which opened up his prayer times in a new way.
The verb meditate carries the meanings of mumbling continually, pondering deeply, studying, and musing. Meditating on the Word is a focused repetition of phrases from Scripture.
“Meditation is a God-ordained way to use the Scripture,” Kirk said. “It’s not vain repetition when faith is involved.”
Numerous verses refer to the importance of meditating on the Word and God’s character.
“O how I love Your Law! It is my meditation all the day. Your commandments make me wiser than my enemies, for they are ever mine.” (Psalm 119:97–98)
“His delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night.” (Psalm 1:2)
Kirk came up with a five-step process for his own use: R-W-S-S-P. Taking a verse at a time, he would Read it, Write it, Say it, Sing it, and Pray it.
Using a yellow legal pad, he created three sections. His Tasks section was for unrelated thoughts, positive or negative, that proved to be distractions. The Pursuits section was for topics that were somewhat related to the meditation verse, but more suitable for future study. The main section was for thoughts or insights related to the verse.
Read the verse several times; look for key phrases and words. Focus on what you read and what it may mean. Think of other ways to say it. Notice how specific words may be emphasized and how that affects the meaning of the verse.
Write the verse out exactly as it is written; close your Bible so you don’t get distracted by other verses. Write a small phrase, and go to the next step—say it. Write down any insights, thoughts, and revelations. Write the phrase several times. Writing the Word opens something that reading doesn’t always open in our understanding; it can be powerful and profound.
Say the verse aloud—loud enough to hear yourself. “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17). As you repeat Scripture phrases, certain words will leap out at you. Repeat these words quietly before the Lord as your heart connects with His through His living Word.
Singing is a means to unlocking the heart. Sing your phrase several times. Write down what you sense and perceive. Our singing voices function in a way distinct from other musical instruments. No other instrument can carry a flow of thought and melody. Declaring Bible verses in song impacts our spirit, soul, and body in a dynamic way. And God has ordained that our singing to Him would move His heart too.
Prayer is a God-ordained means of communing with God. When you repeat a phrase and believe it, you’re speaking it to God, which is prayer. As you pray your verse, ask the Lord to help you believe it. If a phrase invites faith or obedience to walk it out, ask God to help you live it out.
When we meditate on the Word, we use the Bible to encounter God. We experience more of His love, understand His truth, and come to know Him more intimately. If you want to engage with God in a deeper way, try meditating with R-W-S-S-P for 30 minutes. Then let us know how it went!