Oh, how I love your law!
    I meditate on it all day long.

Psalm 119:97

When I was a little girl, I had a scream-inducing nightmare. The kind that flashes before your eyes even after you’re wide awake. I shrieked and my dad came running. As he gently stroked my head, my shivers started to settle. Going back to sleep though was out of the question.

Then Dad had me think through the verses from Psalm 23 and picture myself sitting by streams of water, with Jesus my shepherd caring for me. Slowly the horror left me and I fell sound asleep. 

I didn’t realize it at the time but I had been meditating on God’s Word.

Meditation for kids God’s way – what it is and isn’t

The practice of actively meditating has been around since creation, from the very first day God designed the human mind and filled it with thought and imagination. Scripture is sprinkled with references of thinking about God’s word day and night (Josh 1:8) and filling our minds up with all kinds of good stuff (Phil 4:8).

From the beginning the purpose has always been the same: God longs to be near his children. Fellowship with him is, after all, what kids were made for. That’s what meditation does. Meditation for kids God’s way opens the door into being aware of God’s presence and hearing his voice. 

So meditation for kids God’s way focuses on, well, God.

  • It’s not just thinking about his word but accepting and obeying it. 
  • It’s not emptying the mind but filling it up with who God is and what he’s done.
  • It’s not stepping away or detaching from a problem but recognizing God’s nearness in it. 
  • It’s not a formal position or posture, although it can definitely include it, but an inside posture of being open to God coming near. (More on posture later.)*

So how do you do it? Read on!

1 – Choose your content: Four Things to Meditate on

Meditation for kids God’s way revolves around four things, specifically…

God’s creation

One of my favorites places–the Boundary Waters in northern Minnesota.

The heavens shout HIS glory (Psalm 19:1)! So it’s only natural that when your son or daughter meditates, they’re looking and thinking about how amazing God’s creation is.

God’s Word

This is the psalm my dad had me meditate on when I’d had my nightmare.

Meditation is when your son or daughter turns a verse over and over in their mind. I like to tell kids that meditation is kind of like (emphasis on the “kind of”) doing what a cow does–chew it over and over and over again before taking it in.

What God has done

God has done so much! He’s saved us, forgiven us, and died on the cross. But I like to think of here-and-now examples too. In my case, God gave me a roof after I’d been praying for a long time!

Every time I see this picture or look at our roof, I remember how big God is.

Being still in his presence

No need to hurry or “do”. Just be still.

Sometimes meditation means you are just very still and ask God to come near you, just like it says in James 4:8.

2 – Decide on logistics: Three specific things to consider

As a parent you, can help your son or daughter by pairing meditation with something concrete like…

specific place – bedroom, kitchen table, sofa, front step, carpet

specific time – nap time, bedtime, before bus picks up

specific posture – kneeling, bowing, raising hands, opening your hands, laying facedown are some of the postures Scriptures describe. Posture is really important! In his book The Circle Maker Mark Batterson says,

“Posture is to prayer as tone is to communication….physical postures help posture our hearts and minds.”

Up next week: What meditation looks like for different ages–infants, preschoolers, elementary kids and lots of specific examples and how-to’s.  

Questions? Comments? You can always email me at carol@garborg.us.

*Some of these points have been adapted from Celebration of Discipline: The Path to Spiritual Growth, Richard J. Foster, HarperCollins, 1988.

Copyright © Carol Garborg

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