Growing Thought Seeds through Meditation—Leonard Ravenhill (1907 -1994)

An expert on prayer and revival, Leonard Ravenhill wrote books and conducted meetings exhorting Christians to seek spiritual refreshing from God. His first book, Why Revival Tarries, sold hundreds of thousands of copies and sounded a prophetic call for awakening in the twentieth century.

A follow-up book, Meat for Men, was published in 1961. It challenged the Church to overcome carnality with higher levels of discipline and self-denial. This passage comes from a chapter on meditation and explains the difference between undisciplined musing and the controlled, God-directed contemplation of meditation. And throughout his ministry, Ravenhill’s meditation was Scripture-centered.[1]

This [meditation] is not to be confused with reverie—more commonly called daydreaming. Meditation is no vague, lay-in-the-field-on-your-back attitude, watching the clouds scurry by. That may be rest, but it is not meditation—it is mere passivity. Meditation is active. In the midst of tremendous activity, it may be that a provocative thought will demand withdrawal for contemplation and meditation if one is to get the full reward of a seed thought…[2]

Seeds buried with Tutankhamen, Egyptian king about 1400 B.C., were still fertile when Howard Carter found them in A.D. 1922. A little later, in a suitable atmosphere they sprang to life. Thoughts are like that. Bring them off the main street of the mind into the warm, cultivating atmosphere of prayerful meditation, and they will yield fruit unto eternal life.[3]

[1] Report of longtime Ravenhill colleague the late Bob Phillips, former senior pastor of the Encourager Church in Houston, Texas.

[2] Leonard Ravenhill, Meat for Men (Minneapolis: Bethany Fellowship, 1961), 100.

[3] Ibid., 101-102.