Visualize yourself with Christ in this meditation on Psalm 18. Vibrant metaphors and pictures help you experience this Psalm of victory.
Meditation on Art
Similar to the way that we meditate on a Scripture passage we can meditate on a work of art, picture, or nature scene. I especially like to do this with images and scenes that are in the Bible. This is a favorite exercise of people in the Soul Shepherding seminars and retreats that Kristi and I lead.
Using Biblical imagery can help us to see where we are at in our spiritual journey and to discern what God wants to do in our life. The redemptive, healing imagery of the Bible can also help us to overcome painful images of abuse, harshness, rejection, or neglect that we may have internalized, especially when this is done in the context of psychotherapy.
Ignatius of Loyola in the 16th Century experienced dramatic physical and emotional healing from imagining himself with Jesus in gospel stories. This became the basis of his famous Spiritual Exercises that have helped millions of people over the centuries.
A Psalm of Victory!
My Psalm 18 meditation is rich with pictures to help you connect with Christ, share your heart, and hear his voice. They form an amazing story! Here we are invited to join David on an adventure that ushers us into God’s kingdom, helping us to connect with Christ and to overcome whatever challenge we are facing in our lives. This Psalm is chock full of vibrant metaphors that invite us to participate in God’s action all around us. Meditating on Biblical images is an inspiring spiritual exercise.
“High Places” is a prayer poem I wrote that condenses David’s Psalm and centers it on Christ with only minor paraphrasing. I found pictures on the Internet to go with each of the 14 phrases in the body of my meditation on Psalm 18.
Try this Meditation on Psalm 18
Step into David’s great victory Psalm. Ask the Lord to lead you to the picture and verse from Psalm 18 that’s especially meant for you today. Then reflect and pray…
I love you, O Lord, my strength!
I cried to my God for help…
Christ parted the heavens and came down for me:
He soared on the wings of the wind to come to me,
He thundered and hurled lightening to scatter my enemies,
He reached down from on high and took hold of me,
He drew me out of deep waters,
He brought me out into a spacious place;
He rescued me because he delighted in me!
With Christ I can leap over a wall:
You arm me with strength, O Lord,
You train my hands for battle,
You light the way before me,
You make my feet nimble like the feet of a deer,
You enable me to climb and to stand on the high places with you,
You stoop down to make me great!
Christ the Lord lives! Praise be to my Rock!
Exalted be God my Savior!
(Psalm 18:1,6,9,10,14,16,19,29,32,33,34,35,46, with some paraphrasing.)
A Spiritual Formation Experience
To do this meditation on Psalm 18 in a group I print out half-sheet sized cards with the picture and verse on the front side and on the back side put the text of “High Places” from Psalm 18. Depending on the size of the group you may want to have some extra copies of each picture. Spread out the 14 stacks of pictures on a table so that each person can select the one that they are drawn to.
Before people pick out their picture for meditation I help them to be still and quiet before God and then I pray that God would lead them to the one meant for them today. I like for everyone to remain in silence while they pick out their picture and then while they meditate and journal a prayer. Sometimes I lead the group in meditation using their Biblical image and Scripture in the way of Lectio Divina. (In fact, some people refer to meditation on a picture or work of art as “Visio Divina” to make the association.)