Lectio Divina

Use lectio divina in your daily reading of scripture or as you read the quote for the week.

One of the most central and ancient practices of Christian prayer is lectio divina, or divine reading. In lectio divina, we begin by reading a few verses of the Bible. We read unhurriedly so that we can listen for the message God has for us there. We stay alert to connections the Spirit may reveal between the passage and what is going on in our lives. We ask, “What are you saying to me today, Lord? What am I to hear in this story, parable, or prophecy?” Listening in this way requires patience and a willingness to let go of our own agendas and open ourselves to God’s shaping.

Once we have heard a word that we know is meant for us, we are naturally drawn to prayer. From listening we move to speaking — perhaps in anguish, confession or sorrow; perhaps in joy, praise, thanksgiving or adoration; perhaps in anger, confusion or hurt; perhaps in quiet confidence, trust or surrender. Finally, after pouring out our heart to God, we come to rest simply and deeply in that wonderful, loving presence of God. Reading, reflecting, responding and resting — this is the basic rhythm of divine reading.

  1. Read the scripture slowly. Watch for a key phrase or word that jumps out at you or promises to have special meaning for you. It is better to dwell profoundly on one word or phrase than to skim the surface of several chapters. Read with your own life and choices in mind.
  2. Reflect on a word or phrase. Let the special word or phrase that you discovered in the first phase sink into your heart. Bring mind, will and emotions to the task. Be like Mary, Jesus’ mother, who heard of the angel’s announcement and “treasured” and “pondered” what she had heard (Luke 2:19).
  3. Respond to what you have read. Form a prayer that expresses your response to the idea, then “pray it back to God.” What you have read is woven through what you tell God.
  4. Rest in God’s word. Let the text soak into your deepest being, savoring an encounter with God and truth. When ready, move toward the moment in which you ask God to show you how to live out what you have experienced.

Learn more about or experience lectio divina.

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

john November 13, 2011 at 8:26 pm

this is really good spirituality

jOhn

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Gary February 7, 2012 at 11:17 am

jOhn, you are right. Lectio is really good spirituality. It’s also really good psychology. Lectio is the foundation of 12 Step Recovery Groups. And, the 12 Step Groups start with a focus on God no matter how the 12 Steppers woould try to shy away from saying so. The 1st step is: “We came to believe in a power (a Loving Higher Power) greater than ourselves.”

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Gary February 7, 2012 at 11:23 am

I’ve just finished reading Gathered in the Word about group Lectio. It’s excellent!

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Jenni Ho-Huan September 24, 2012 at 8:41 am

Pastor-writer Eugene Petersen once said Lectio Divina is the only way to appraoch Scripture. I love it because it honours the Author and seeks his interpretations and intentions for me the reader…

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Raymond October 16, 2012 at 4:09 am

How and where do I find “Lectioaudio.” I listened to it once and have never been able to find it again….Please help. This is how “READING” the word of God works for me.

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Buzz December 16, 2012 at 4:21 pm

Raymond,
One place you might find Audio Lectio is here in the Upper Room community. Go to alivenow.com and scroll down until you come to it. I think you can also go to the UpperRoom homepage and find Audio Lectio in the programs (?) menu.

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Todd July 18, 2013 at 3:06 pm

Another potential is my weekly Lectio Divina podcast:
lectiodivinatodd.wordpress.com/
After a short musical piece and a brief bit of centering, I take one of the scripture texts from the lectionary and lead the listener through a form of lectio divina. I warmly invite you to listen in!
Deepest Peace,
Todd

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Kristy November 5, 2012 at 5:38 am

I have a class at Asbury Seminary this semester that requires us to read a book with an entire chapter dedicated to Lectio Divina. Great first semester class to help center and focus on praying the Word.
My process for poetry writing takes a similar form because I like to visualize the words before they splash onto the paper. If the words don’t flow smoothly, I stop, refocus, center on the Spirit, and then begin again. I think everyone can alter this process a tiny bit so it can apply to all of life, not just soaking in the Word or writing poetry.

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Todd July 18, 2013 at 3:05 pm

Another potential is my weekly Lectio Divina podcast:
lectiodivinatodd.wordpress.com/
After a short musical piece and a brief bit of centering, I take one of the scripture texts from the lectionary and lead the listener through a form of lectio divina. I warmly invite you to listen in!
Deepest Peace,
Todd

Reply

Todd July 18, 2013 at 3:07 pm

Oops. I apologize. My above response was meant for an earlier post. Sorry about that!

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