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Christian meditation is a type of focused reflection and prayer conducted by members of the Christian faith, either alone or in a group setting. Such meditation is often aimed at developing and strengthening a personal relationship with God through deliberate contemplation of particular aspects of Christian faith. Some types of Christian meditation are based primarily in silent prayer and reflection about one's life and one's connection to God. Other methods may be somewhat more structured and involve intense focus on a particular passage from the Bible or on a particular prayer. While Christians are encouraged to engage in such meditation throughout the liturgical year, there are some specific times, such as Lent, during which a stronger emphasis is placed on reflection and meditation.
Much of Christian meditation is an informal but important aspect of regular Christian prayer. Christians are expected to reflect on God's love and God's will, with the aim of developing a better understanding of and a closer connection to God. They are also expected to reflect on their own lives, including their sins and shortcomings, in order to determine how they could become closer to God. Engaging in such meditative practices allows Christians to more closely align their own lives with the will of God. Christian meditation is largely based on developing greater unity between God and the individual through focused contemplation on both.
Some forms of Christian meditation are more structured and may be based on either an individual or institutional plan or schedule of meditation. One may, for instance, meditate on specific prayers or Bible passages each day. Many people choose to follow prayer books that include daily topics on which to meditate. There are even some audio programs that are intended to guide people into a deeply relaxed and contemplative state and to provide particular subjects for reflection. Such programs can be helpful by providing people with diverse aspects of their faiths and lives to consider.
While Christians are encouraged to engage in Christian meditation on a regular basis throughout the year, there are specific times when meditation is considered to be particularly important. Lent and Advent, in particular, are times when people are encouraged to meditate on their relationships with God. During Lent, people are often encouraged to meditate on the sacrifice of Jesus and on their own lives and sins, and to try to align themselves more closely with God. During Advent, Christian meditation often focuses on the birth of Jesus and on preparing oneself for the eventual coming of Jesus.