Even though the above title espouses the following are the best, this is purely a personal choice. Of course, there are millions of great meditation phrases out there and not all of them are sourced in the Bible (but most of the best ones are).
Meditation phrases are simple, pithy generally 5-10 word statements that are memorised and repeated over and over in the process of meditation, “rolling” them through the mind and heart, such that God’s Spirit would work deep within and massage the lattice of our conscious and sub-conscious minds and our palpable souls.
Here they are:
1. “The kingdom of God is within you.” (Luke 17:21)
Why do we look for happiness outside of ourselves? The key to joy and contentment is centralising upon the temple of the living God within us... it is never otherwise.
2. “I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety.” (Psalm 4:8)
For anyone who’s ever struggled to sleep peacefully, this is a marvellous soothing word to meditate over.
3. “You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.” (Isaiah 26:3)
Trust and peace are linked. This, however, is one verse that’s unfortunately (for meditation purposes) not in the first or second person.
4. “There will be peace and security in my lifetime.” (Isaiah 39:8)
For when we’re bombarded with worries and fears regarding the state of this world, here is something to help. The truth is, if we trust God, we will know and see peace, now and to come.
5. “I say to myself, ‘The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.’” (Lamentations 3:24)
When we’re downcast and distressed, spiritually dismembered, we can and should look forth to the coming deliverance that is promised.
6. “Bring joy to your servant, for to you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.” (Psalm 86:4)
What more can we do but bring ourselves before God. At times we cannot do anything else. At other times we should do the same thing.
7. “I sing for joy at the works of your hands.” (Psalm 92:4)
The eye simply attests to the greatness of God.
8. “Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior.” (Habakkuk 3:18)
Despite everything we can revert our attitudes to sing harmonies to our God.
9. “My heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will live in hope.” (Acts 2:26)
It’s strange perhaps that the word “hope” is only used about six times in the Gospels, yet the gospel stories raise so much hope and one of the purpose of meditation is to appraise realistically and restore our hope.
10. “We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.” (Hebrew 6:19)
This hope is the Blessed Hope, Jesus, of course.
Meditation is best done in silence and solitude and at least started that way. But to carry these words with us throughout our day in congruence with Psalm 1 and deuteronomistic tradition is the key.
© S. J. Wickham, 2009. (All Scripture verses in NIV.)