Contemplation

Stillness–a Way to Pray
It may be a walk in the quiet woods or a season by the sea or a session on a secluded mountaintop or a stillness in the secret place of prayer, but contemplation is an important way to pray.

Contemplation, also known as meditation, observation, or deep consideration, takes us to places in the heart of God we cannot reach with speed. Stillness is the requirement, stillness and solitude. We do not contemplate aloud; it is not a conversation with other people. Contemplation is an inner dialogue with our own heart, the heart of God, the marvels of His creation, and the wonders of His Word. In contemplation mysteries are not solved. Instead they are adored in anticipation of revelation someday. The tension between two opposite truths is not relaxed as we contemplate them. On the contrary, as we listen to the dissonance we hear two stirring tunes instead of one.

“To Know”
Another synonym for contemplation is the verb, “to know.” The knowledge gained from spiritual contemplation goes far beyond cognition, merely adding new volumes to our internal library. To “know” something by the force of contemplation is to experience it in spiritual sense. This contemplation is a process of revelation through which the Word of God is written in our hearts. This spiritual inscription by the hand of God is the first promise of the New Covenant.

Hebrews 8:10
This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time, declares the Lord.
I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts.

How does this happen?

  • When we read the Bible, the hand of God writes it in our minds.
  • When we memorize verses, the hand of God writes them in our hearts.
  • When we contemplate scriptural themes and doctrines, the Holy Spirit writes them on the deepest pages in our book connecting verse with verse, truth with truth, and promise with expectation.

On this day of rest, take time to contemplate the

  • The sermons in the sky and sea,
  • The carols in all of creation,
  • The beauty of the Bright and Morning Star,
  • The calamity of the cross,
  • The reality of the resurrection, and
  • The King and His Kingdom.

Such time is time well spent, for when we are finally still, then we will finally know.

Scriptures:
Habakkuk 2:20 NKJV
… the LORD is in His holy temple. Let all the earth keep silence before Him.
Psalm 46:8-10
Come and see the works of the LORD…”Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”
Psalm 119:8-16 NKJV
Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You. Blessed are You, O LORD! Teach me Your statutes … I will meditate on Your precepts, And contemplate Your ways. I will delight myself in Your statutes; I will not forget Your word.
Psalm 143:5-6
I remember the days of long ago; I meditate on all your works and consider what your hands have done. I spread out my hands to you; my soul thirsts for you like a parched land.
2 Corinthians 3:17-18 NKJV
Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with unveiled face, beholding (contemplating) as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.

Prayer:
Lord Jesus, I pause at the beginning of this day to contemplate Your goodness, to think deeply about Your mercy, and to remember Your faithfulness to me. Help me find a place of stillness so that I can know the things that only stillness reveals. Send Your enabling Spirit to quicken my mind to understand more about You and about Your lovingkindness. People today say terrible things about You, Lord: You are dead; You don’t exist; You don’t love us and other terrible lies. As I walk and run through everyday, I know You are really there, that You are alive and that You love all of us. Now, as I attempt stillness in order to contemplate You, take me deeper still. Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.

Song:
Be Still and Know
Words and Music: Stephen Phifer

Be still and know that I am God.
Be still and know that I am God.
And I will be exalted, exalted among the nations.
Yes, I will be exalted in all the earth!
Be still and know that I am God.
Be still and know that I am God.
Be still.

Semper Reformanda!
Stephen Phifer

© 2017 Stephen R. Phifer All Rights Reserved

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