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Lectio Divina

16 February, 2003 3:45 PM

Last week I mentioned a passage that God spoke to me through when I did a Lectio Divina on it. A few people emailed me asking what Lectio was or asking for information on how to do it. Personally I've always struggled a bit with my own personal prayer life - particularly with the idea of a quiet time - maybe its my personality type, maybe my temperament or maybe I just drink too much caffine - I've found always found quiet times a struggle - that is until I was introduced to Lectio.

Lectio Divina is an ancient monastic method of reading the Scriptures. Latin for 'Divine Reading' or 'Praying the Scriptures', Lectio Divina is a quiet and contemplative way of coming to Gods Word in which the participant allows the rhythm of Scripture to wash over them as they meditate upon the passage.

There is no one way to do it - I'm sure there as are many versions as their are people using it - but I'll post here the way I've written it up for my community to use. We've done it from time to time as individuals, in small groups and even a few times in groups of up to 200! (although it obviously has to be adapted) I've written it up as follows - feel free to take it or leave it...

The method (NB ? there is no one way of doing this - you may wish to put on some quiet music, use some images of Christ or other art/photos, or get out in creation and work through the following steps.)

1 - Stop/Relax/Connect with God. - Calm your body. Concentrate on some slow breathing - try to clear your mind of the busyness of life and your day. Simply call out to God - ask for him to touch you as you pray.

2 - Scripture Reading 1 - read the passage you've chosen twice. Read the Scripture slowly. Allow its words to wash over and sink into your consciousness as you become familiar with the passage. Don't try to interpret it or understand it. Picture and even enter the scene, watch and interact with the characters. Listen for words that catch your attention, when they do, savor them, toss them around in your mind. In the silence that follows the reading meditate upon what you have heard, let the verses begin to stir up memories, thoughts or ideas as they come. If a word/s or phrase/s from the passage strikes you say it out loud or write it down - don't embellish or explain it.

3 - Scripture Reading 2 - read twice more. As you read the Scripture again, continue to allow it to wash over you. Let its rhythm and repetition flow. In the silence that follows continue to enter into and engage with the scene and the authors words. What theme/s emerge for you? How do you and your experience connect with what is being read? What is Christ speaking to you at this time? Write in a sentence the theme that you feel God is speaking to you through the text.

4 - Scripture Reading 3 - read twice more slowly. Continue to interact with and meditate upon the Scripture as previously. What action might God be calling you to through these verses? Let your meditation lead you to silent prayer, thanksgiving, petition, confession etc. Interact with God on what you are thinking, communicate with your thoughts and ideas. Journal your thoughts and prayers if this is helpful. Write to God as if writing to a friend. Go with the flow, let your mind be taken in whatever direction you find it goes.

Make note of any action that you feel God is leading you to.

When you feel comfortable ending your time, thank God for interacting with you ? pray about any other issues that you may have on your heart.



I am a writer of devotions and know both the value and struggle of setting aside a quiet time. I am embarking on my most ambitious writing project ever and this ancient form of meditation has been key in developing the right spiritual attitude for developing the the project. In fact it has been such an influence that I intend to include a section of the book to its delightful affects.

Nelson » 28 July, 2003 11:54 PM

Thanks for putting this up . . . it's one of the best descriptions that i've seen. We're working on incorporating it into our gatherings . . . i'll let you know how it turns out. great site!

ken » 10 June, 2004 2:35 AM

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