Do we not miss very much of the sweetness and efficacy of prayer by a want of careful meditation before it, and of hopeful expectation after it? . . . We too often rush into the presence of God without forethought or humility. We are like people who present themselves before a king without a petition, and what wonder is it that we often miss the end of prayer? We should be careful to keep the stream of meditation always running, for this is the water to drive the mill of prayer. It is idle to put up the floodgates of a dry brook and then hope to see the wheel revolve. Prayer without fervency is like hunting with a dead dog, and prayer without preparation is like hawking with a blind falcon. Prayer is the work of the Holy Spirit, but He works by means. . . The Holy Ghost is the author of prayer, but He employs the thoughts of a fervent soul as the gold with which to fashion the vessel. Let our prayers and praises be not the flashes of a hot and hasty brain but the steady burning of a well-kindled fire.Charles H. Spurgeon, Spurgeon and the Psalms, Commenting on Psalm 5
When teaching the Christian spiritual disciplines I have encountered a surprising amount of resistance when introducing meditation. Most students think of meditation as only emptying the mind, and not, as is prescribed in the Scriptures, of filling the mind with the things and thoughts of God.
Here is Charles Spurgeon, the great Baptist preacher, comparing meditation to water that powers a mill, a hunt, hawking, gold, and fire. He says the meditating person is a person prepared to petition and praise God. Why? Because a person who thinks on the things and thoughts of God supplies the Holy Spirit with material from which to draw and choose for the occasion, the moment, of address.
Meditation invites God to refashion, reform, and renew our minds, not only so that we might think more clearly in relationship to God and God’s kingdom, so that we might converse more plainly, accurately, and cogently with the God who has called us into fellowship.
Think on the things and thoughts of God.