“Grow in grace and understanding of our Master and Savior, Jesus Christ.”
2 Peter 3:18
What stimulates growth? The primary ingredient is a growing intimacy with Jesus. “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you REMAIN in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. (John 15:5)
Like the growth of human relationships, a growing intimacy with Jesus requires: faith, trust, communication, honesty time, risk, to name but a few.
Step 11 of Alcoholics Anonymous captures the essence of the above. “Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God.”
“I remember the days of old; I meditate on all You have done; I reflect on the work of Your hands. ” (Psalm 145:5) The word “meditate” is a rather humorous, Hebrew word. Literally it means: a cow chewing its cud.This implies solid food. “Solid food’ is only for the adults ....” (Hebrews 5:12) Hence, meditation is the practice of eating a portion of God’s Word. “Let the word of Jesus dwell in you, enriching your life ….” (Colossians 3:16) “Father told me, ‘Son’, Eat this book.’ Make a full meal of it!” So I ate it. (Ezekiel 3:1-3) The portion size is dependent on ones growth level. After ingestion (taken it into ones heart) one begins to chew on the food. Like a cow one might chew on the Word all day, regurgitating (sorry, a little crude!) it for deeper meaning.
“In prayer the human spirit can send invisible waves to eternity.” (Guglielmo Marconi) Prayer is connection via conversation. It involves both speaking and listening. No subject is “off limits”! (“The Maintenance of Life -Intimacy with Jesus“ ) Remember this: in both mediation and prayer one is enamored with a person, Jesus, the Living Word. “In the beginning was the one who is called the Word. The Word was with God. John 1:4) “The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood. (John 1:14) “The reality is, my prayers don’t change God. But, I am convinced prayer changes me. Praying boldly boots me out of that stale place of religious habit into authentic connection with God Himself.” (Lysa TerKeurst)
Like a coin pray and meditation are one activity of intimacy. That upon which we meditate becomes the subject of our prayer as it relates to our current lives.