Lectio Divina

 

Lectio Divina

SAVOR THE WORDS OF SCRIPTURE

Lectio Divina is the ancient practice of slowly, contemplatively reading the words of Scripture; an invitation to savor God’s Word as we are nourished, fed, and refreshed in His holy presence.

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly… Colossians 3:16a ESV

WHAT IS LECTIO DIVINA?

 

Lectio Divina is the ancient practice of slowly and contemplatively reading the words of Scripture – an invitation to slow down and experience God’s Word deeply, to be nourished, fed, and refreshed by the words of Scripture, and to be fully present with a holy God. A gentle invitation to talk with God in prayer.

As we step into the practice of holy reading, we begin to discover the underlying spiritual rhythm of our lives, a rhythm steeped in the creation of the world. Day follows night. Tides rise and fall. Months and seasons change with the waxing and waning of the moon. And new life is celebrated even in the midst of significant loss.

Lectio Divina is practiced in five stages:

  1. Silence
  2. Reading
  3. Meditation
  4. Prayer
  5. Contemplation

 

HOW TO QUIET YOUR HEART, SAVOR SCRIPTURE AND PRAY

 

The best way to learn a new practice is through experience, so let’s begin with the beautiful words of Isaiah 58:11.

 

The Lord will guide you always,

he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land

and will strengthen your frame.

You will be like a well-watered garden,

like a spring whose waters never fail.

 

STEP 1: SILENCE

 

Choose a quiet place, settle into a comfortable position, close your eyes, and allow the distractions of the day — all those voices clamoring for your attention — to quiet. Feel your shoulders relax. Notice the rhythmic beating of your heart. Lean into the presence of God as you breathe in. Release the burdens, pressures, and fears of your day as you breathe out.

 

STEP 2: READING

 

Slowly read the words of Isaiah 58:11. Focus on each word. Allow yourself to be with God in the words. Listen for a word or phrase that captures your attention. Underline, circle, or highlight that word or phrase.

 

The Lord will guide you always,

he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land

and will strengthen your frame.

You will be like a well-watered garden,

like a spring whose waters never fail.

 

STEP 3: MEDITATION

 

Meditation is our response to God’s Word. Use these questions to help you begin.

  • What word or phrase caught your attention? Why?
  • What does that word or phrase mean to you?
  • Is there something you sense God asking you to change?
  • Is there someone you need to forgive?
  • Might there be something you need to release?

 

STEP 4: PRAYER

 

There is no right or wrong way to pray. Prayer is simply, profoundly, mysteriously, intimately, powerfully how we enter into the presence of God. Sometimes we come with words, sometimes with the groanings of our hearts.

In prayer, it’s OK to:

  • wrestle with God
  • ask, seek, or plead with Him
  • thank Him
  • pause in wonder and awe
  • sing
  • worship
  • weep
  • hold God at arm’s length
  • lean close no words at all

 

Sometimes it helps to enter into prayer through the words of others:

You are a fire that takes away the coldness, illuminates the mind with its light, and causes me to know your truth.

Saint Catherine of Siena

Lord, come as sweet, healing oil
into my weary mind,
my bruised heart
and my dried-up soul.

Ulrick Schaffer

O blessed Jesus, give me stillness of soul in You.
Let Your mighty calmness reign in me.
Rule me, O King of gentleness, King of peace.
Give me control, the great power of self-control:
Control over my words, thoughts and actions.
From all irritability, lack of meekness, lack of gentleness,
         dear Lord, deliver me.
By Your own deep patience, give me patience.
Make me in this and all things more and more like You.

Saint John of the Cross

STEP 5: CONTEMPLATION

Contemplation is the stage of surrender, when we lean into God’s presence. It is a deep, intimate place of quiet rest in the presence of the One who spoke all of creation into being, who formed man from the dust of the earth, who formed Eve from Adam’s rib, and who breathed life into us.

Lectio Divina is an invitation to lean into God’s deep love for us as we encounter Him in His Word, a growing awareness of His presence in every moment, breath, and heartbeat of our lives.

Lectio Divina

Lectio Divina

An ancient practice of slowly, contemplatively reading the words of Scripture.

Loving God, please grant me peace of mind and calm my troubled heart.

My soul is like a turbulent sea. I can seem to find my balance, so I stumble and worry constantly.

Give me strength and clarity of mind to find my purpose and walk the path you’ve laid out for me.

I trust your love, God, and know that You will heal this stress.

Just as the sun rises each day against the dark of night, please bring me clarity with the light, God.
Amen.

Unknown

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