Meditating on the Word of God is the most meaningful part of my devotional life. It causes me to worship, pray, know God deeply and personally, act according to His truths and follow His direction because when I meditate I hear His voice. I do not see myself as the most qualified person to write or teach about Biblical Meditation, but I have been graced to be alongside many that were.
I had a unique experience for which I thank God. I found Jesus, or rather He found me, in France at the age of 18. After some days of extraordinary engagement with young Charismatic Catholics, who seemed so alive (making me realize I was not) I had a God ordained encounter with an evangelical Austrian woman called Linde Danzer. She spoke English with a crisp and clear accent that conveyed to me she was intentional in all her communication. Indeed she was, as I found out when she directly asked me if I wanted my life to belong to God. To my astonishment I heard a loud voice inside my head say, “Yes.” Linde believed that everyone should know Jesus better, and I was a prime candidate in her view. Having challenged me with this question that evening she invited me to her room at 6.30AM the next morning. (Who does that to a teenager?) I arrived full of exuberance at my new understanding that my life now belonged to God. This was the first time that I had felt sure of anything beyond the temporal.
She motioned me to be quiet, sat me at a desk with a welcoming cup of coffee, a pen and an open notebook with a few words written on the top of a page. She explained that we would talk in half-an-hour but until then I was to write down anything I felt God might be saying to me through those words. I was flummoxed. Thirty short minutes later that page was filled to overflowing with my thoughts and responses. What Linde was doing was teaching me to meditate on the Word of God. Little did she know what those few words would come to mean to me. “I will never leave you; nor forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5). I had experienced rejection and abandonment in my life and these words were the beginning of my healing. Linde and I repeated that exercise of a silent half hour in the Word of God each morning for the next ten days until I returned to England.
Shortly thereafter I began at college and on my dorm corridor there was a young woman called Helen Reed who had been taught by her mother to meditate on the Word of God. We became friends and prayer partners and I quickly recognized how she approached prayer through the Bible. My education in meditation continued. About that time I was taken to a meeting where someone called Pat Hughes was speaking. She taught Biblical Meditation from Exodus 16, paralleling the gathering of the manna to how we meditate in the Word. A light bulb went on as I realized this concept was deeply embedded in the Bible. I had recently met Stuart, my future husband, and then his parents, Shelagh and Campbell McAlpine. Campbell held a School of Biblical Meditation and was later to write what was one of the great books on this subject entitled “Alone With God” (now sadly out of print, but reprinted as The Practice of Biblical Meditation). God was about to bless my life further. Shelagh led a prayer ministry called Lydia Fellowship where the mandate was to “pray the Word.” We were told you did not ‘join’ this fellowship, you just ‘did’ it. So I kept doing it with this precious group of women from 1973 until 2008.
I could name so many who have influenced me enormously over the years, like Tryna Bahl. I met her on our arrival in America in 1980. She was rigorous in her teaching on Biblical Meditation and pressed me into that place of discipline. My greatest gratitude to the Lord is for His gift of a life partner in Stuart, who not only meditates on the Word as a constant practice but also preaches out of his meditations. Since 2008 I have been part of ASK Network where we gather to ask with the Word. This has been an incredibly wonderful part of my story, asking with men and women of every generation in many nations. God loves His children to ask with His Word, so has bestowed His favor upon this Network. My life has been enriched by many, especially the teachers and prayer partners God has given me along the way.
International Director, Washington DC, USA
ASKing since 1973