The Weekly Review

by Chris Bowler

I enjoyed this look at the devotional practices of Richard Baxter. I’m already a believer in Christian meditation, but sometimes hearing the experiences of others can be an inspiration to us.

In The Saints’ Everlasting Rest, Baxter states that, because man is a rational creature, we must reason with ourselves. We are to take a truth and mull it over in our minds. He compares it to a balance that sits before us. There is a natural desire to want to tip it, to add a little more weight, and then a little more, and then a little more, and finally the thing tips. So, it is to be with our hearts. We meditate upon a truth and add reason upon reason in order to believe this truth, to revel in this truth, to delight in this truth, and eventually the scale tips. We bring one reason to bear, and then another, arguing with ourselves, until eventually we are affected.

Since reading this, I’ve tweaked my morning routine slightly. I take a few minutes (not 30, but at least 5–10) to just focus on one aspect of God. The compassion of Christ, the long-suffering of the Father, how Christ fulfills the role of sacrifice and priest — whatever comes to mind or catches my attention in my reading.

And this change has had an impact in how worshipful I am in my devotions. Mixing in reading, intercessory prayer, and this focused meditation has been a blessing. I find the focus on God leads me to praise him more readily. From there, every other activity in my devotions is richer for it.