In the second instalment on his message about Jesus’ prayer life, Pastor Kong Hee taught that a very important aspect of meditation is having a conversation with God.
“Jesus was constantly on prayer mode,” said Kong Hee, senior pastor of City Harvest Church. “And so must we be.” He was preaching at CHC’s online weekend service on Feb 29 and Mar 1.
“Jesus often quoted from the book of Psalms,” he elaborated. Psalms 119, the longest chapter in the Bible, was written by King David. Many believe that the king wrote it to tell others that meditation is the secret to inner joy, peace, and victory.
Pastor Kong proceeded to preach out of David’s meditation on Scripture and four major things that he gained from this practice.
ONE: MEDITATION KEEPS US PURE FROM SIN
David’s biggest weakness was his sexual lust. In Psalms 119:9 and 11, David said that the way to overcome his weakness is “by taking heed according to Your Word”.
Human beings possess an inherent lack of self-control, which is evident even during prayer. After praying for just a few minutes, a person’s mind tends to wander to other worldly matters, such as what to eat for dinner, or an email that he needs to reply, noted Pastor Kong.
Some people may even feel suppressed feelings like anger and jealousy bubbling up during prayer. “Prayer shows us who we really are, in our minds and hearts,” the pastor explained. “Meditation goes straight into the inner room of our heart, sees clearly what is there and tunes it towards God.”
Meditation aligns a person’s thoughts and feelings to God’s.
TWO: MEDITATION SAVES US FROM DEPRESSION
David led a life full of crises. But he managed to overcome his sorrows by meditation (Ps 119:27-28).
Many people struggle to find happiness today. “This is because the happiness we are looking for is dependent on external things,” said the pastor, “so our happiness doesn’t last very long.”
After being tossed “to and fro” by the storms of life (Eph 4:14), people become jaded and weary. Life begins to feel exhausting and meaningless.
However, there is a joy that is permanent and it comes from the Lord, Pastor Kong pointed out. This joy is not dependent on external circumstances but comes from meditation on the Word. No matter how terrible life gets, this joy from God brings inner peace and strength (Psalms 119:111) Meditating on God’s word gives believers the ability to find joy even in the darkest of places.
THREE: MEDITATION PRESERVES OUR PHYSICAL HEALTH
In Psalm 119:159, David said that God’s precepts revive him according to His lovingkindness.
Pastor Kong told the church about Pastor Semy Bolang, the senior pastor of GPdI Karmel, one of CHC’s affiliate churches, who was diagnosed with alopecia universalis a few years ago. This condition caused him to lose all his hair. There was no known cure for this disease, but Pastor Semy meditated on God’s Word daily, until he was completely healed.
FOUR: MEDITATION BRINGS US INTO A CONVERSATION WITH GOD
“Prayer is a conversation,” said Pastor Kong. “It is a fellowship with God. We are sharing our hearts with him and He is sharing His heart with us.”
Stressing that this was the main point of his message today, Pastor Kong told the congregation that Jesus loved to pray because He was conversing with God. Most of the time, God conversed with Jesus, showed Himself to Jesus and taught Him through the meditation of the word.
“How did Jesus know and was convinced that He was going to be the Savior of the world?” Pastor Kong asked. He compared Hebrews 10:5-6 with Psalms 40, showing how Jesus must have meditated on Psalms 40:6-7 until He received the revelation that He was the Messiah whom the Scriptures had prophesied.
“As followers of Christ, it must be the same for us,” encouraged the pastor. “We hear God’s voice through meditation. We enter into a conversation with Him.”
Pastor Kong gave another example of Jesus’ sermon on the mount in Matthew 5. His meditation on the Ten Commandments gave Him fresh and deep understanding about the moral purity that God wants His people to have. For example, “Thou shalt not murder” was not simply the act of killing someone, but Jesus revealed to His followers that if they are angry with someone else, or if they call someone a fool or curse them, that is murder too. That is why Jesus could say, “As My Father taught Me, I speak these things.” (Jn 8:28).
MEDITATING ON HOW TO PRAY
Pastor Kong continued his message speaking of his experience in prison, praying for CHC.
“For the past two and a half years, I wanted to pray for you, the church. So I meditated regularly on Ephesians 3:16-19,” he said. In verse 18 and 19, Paul’s prayer for the Ephesians was that they “may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge”.
“I often meditated and prayed these verses,” said Pastor Kong. Until one day, he heard God speaking to him, explaining what the verse really meant. “Width [refers to] how much He forgives and embraces us. Length: how faithful and patient He is with us. Depth: how deeply He feels for us; and height: His love is out of this world.”
The more Pastor Kong focused on the love of Jesus, the more he found that he genuinely wanted to live in forgiveness, kindness and gentleness. He felt the love of Jesus had melted his heart.
“This is how meditation turns theology into experience,” he explained. “God starts conversing with us through His work about ourselves, the people around is and the situation we are in.”
He added that that is how meditation makes prayer enjoyable: our meditation must become a conversation with God. “If prayer is just going through a list of needs, it will remain a one-way thing and will become dry and tiring. However, if prayer is a dynamic conversation, it becomes enjoyable knowing it is a communion from our heart to God’s heart.”