Holding great therapeutic potential, the Psalms are infused with hope; simultaneously Christian meditation integrates the benefits of mindfulness within a deeply relational context. In the present study, a novel meditative Psalms intervention was investigated for its hypothesised positive effects on hope, flow and wellbeing, as proposed via three factors (meditative practice, poetic devices and hopeful content) with one overarching model—Broaden and Build Hypothesis (BBH). Via convenience and snowball sampling from a dispersed Christian population, participants entered a randomised controlled trial (RCT) with allocation to a control or seven-day intervention group, the latter receiving daily instructions for lectio divina (LD) meditation on the Psalm reading. In contrast to control (N=32), significant improvements were elicited in the intervention group (N=29) for hope and wellbeing, with subscale analysis highlighting improvements in perspective, relationships, personal values and emotions. For the intervention group only, significantly elevated levels of flow were noted between day 1 and day 7, with non-significant changes for all other days. Whilst numerous limitations and future directions were noted, the results suggest a potential role for Psalms meditation as a culturally sensitive and personally relevant holistic hope intervention.
- Lectio Divina
- Christian meditation