The Puritans stressed the need for Christian meditation, what we commonly refer to as devotions. These reasons can be summarized easily in six points.
- Our God who commands us to believe the Scriptures, and it also commands us also to meditate on it, in that the Scripture is sufficient for doing it. Often the Puritans would use biblical characters as examples to compel their church members to do this; Isaac, Moses, Paul, Timothy, Joshua, David, Mary. For example; Psalm 19:14 reads, Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.
- Meditate on the word, because it is God’s letter to us. Christian do not run over God’s letter in haste, but meditate on His love in sending it to us.
- One cannot be a mature Christian without meditation. Thomas Manton once said, “faith is lean and ready to starve without meditation.”
- Without meditation the preached word will fail to benefit us. Baxter said, “reading without meditation is like swallowing raw and undigested food, a man may eat too much, but cannot digest too well.” The sermon is not enough for the Christian’s weekly living, he must constantly be reading, and applying the truths of Scripture to his life.
- Without meditation our prayers will not be effective; this serves as a middle sort of duty between word and prayer. The Scripture feeds meditation, and meditation feeds prayer.
- Christians who fail to meditate are unable to defend the truth. Without proper meditation on the Scriptures, the Christian has no backbone, and no self-knowledge. Manton would teach, “man who is a stranger to meditation does not know himself. ” As Thomas Watson preached, and we may need to ponder “tis meditation that makes a Christian.”