Learning to Pray Lectio Divina

girl reading at sunupTim Keller says that Lectio Divina (or “Divine Reading”) involves meditative listening to the reading, out loud and slowly, of a short passage or a few isolated verses of Scripture. It can be done individually or with a group. In a group context, those who listen are encouraged to set aside analysis and what they “know” already about the passage, seeking instead to open themselves to hearing personally from God by his Spirit through his Word. In this way, God’s Word is received as an individualized gift to each person.

Here is how it works.

Choose a short Scripture passage for your meditation (one verse or maybe a paragraph). 

First reading. Spend one minute silent reflection before God. Take notice of whatever captures your attention in the passage.

Second reading. Spend one minute silent reflection. Listen for a single word or phrase that particularly stands out to you.

Third reading. Spend 3-5 minutes in silent reflection. Try to discern why that particular word is for you.

Fourth reading. Spend 3-5 minutes in silent reflection. What do you think God wants you to do with that word? What is God inviting you to be? How is God inviting you to change?

Spend some time in prayer over what you received from God’s Word, and give thanks for His gift to you.

The full article on Lectio Divina is published by Tim Keller here.  Adapted from Sacred Companions by David Benner, 2002, and John Smed, Grace Vancouver.

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