Despite continued controversy between prayer and meditation, today more Christians than ever seem to be turning toward the practice as a means to enhance their commitment to God. For many, meditation enables them the ability to focus inwards into their bodies in an effort to enter a space where prayer is more meaningful.
Checkout this latest Patheos post from Amy Julia Becker. In it, Becker discusses her use of yoga and meditation techniques to help her bring awareness to her body before praying. In doing so, Becker brings her whole self to God. According to Becker, by practicing meditation techniques she affords herself a more profound ability to connect to the being outside herself capable of changing the world.
In meditation, as I understand it, breathing is meant to clear the mind, to bring a person to a place of clarity, letting go of everything but the present moment. Prayer is different. In prayer, I am turning over my scattered thoughts to God. I am offering the past, the present, and the future. I am connecting with one outside myself, one who can effect change in the world by the work of the Spirit in human lives. I believe that meditation can bring peace and even some degree of personal healing, and I believe that such peace and healing can be a gift to others. But prayer goes much further. Not only does it offer the benefits of meditation but also a real connection to the God of the universe, a being outside ourselves who invites our petitions, our thanksgiving, our confessions, our pleas.
Read more from Becker on combining meditation with Christian prayer here.