involves reading and praying with a chosen scripture passage. It is a way of interacting with scriptures that is fluid and responsive to God’s movement. The practice of Lectio Divina can be done individually or as a group. If in a group you might take turns reading the chosen scriptures from the same bible translation or you might vary the translations. (ie. NIV, The Message, King James etc)
There are 4 components to this style of prayer and meditation on scripture. Richard Foster talks about the 4 parts of Lectio as a being a process like that of peeling away layers of an onion: “I read myself full, I think myself clear, I pray myself hot and let myself cool.” (let go) from “Prayer”, by Richard Foster.
Before starting: Begin with a prayer for openness.
1. Lectio-reading (Choose a scripture passage and read it aloud). Listen for words or phrases that capture your attention. Hear with your heart. Look for the “Words that shimmer” to you. (Richard Foster) If in a group you might speak those words or phrases out loud. Then take a moment or two of silence.
2. Meditatio-meditation (Read the same scripture aloud again.) Listen for sensory messages: What sights? What sounds? What smells? What tastes? What textures? Take a moment of silence.
3. Oratio-prayer: (Read the scripture aloud again.) Consider how the passage relates to your experience. What might God, the living WORD, be asking of you? What do you want to ask of God? (You might take several minutes to write a brief prayer. Pray your prayer aloud if you are comfortable.)
4. Contemplatio– contemplation: (Read the scripture one last time.) Sit quietly. Imagine you are sitting closely beside God, seeking comfort and peace. Don’t strive for anything-just be.
5. Closing Prayer: (Close with a prayer of thanksgiving and praise.) For example: “Thank you God for your wisdom and provision given to me through your precious scriptures. Amen.”