Lectio Divina is an ancient spiritual practice from the Christian monastic tradition. In Lectio Divina, we seek to experience the presence of God through reading and listening, prayer, meditation and contemplation. Lectio Divina can be done as an individual or as a group.
Practicing Lectio Divina individually
Begin by choosing a section of scripture that you would like to read and pray. You can choose the text randomly or use a liturgical book like the Book of Common Prayer. Try not to set a goal for how much content you will cover. The goal is to listen for God and experience his presence. Preparation Next, do what you must to quiet and prepare yourself to hear from God. If you need to find a quiet room, or sit in silence for several minutes, or sit in a comfortable chair, take whatever posture will help you prepare to receive and experience God’s presence.
When you sense that your heart is prepared, begin by slowly reading the passage of scripture that you have selected. Don’t move quickly through any sentence or phrase. As you read, pay attention to what word or phrase or idea catches your attention.
Next, begin to meditate on the word, phrase, or idea that captured your attention. Repeat it again and again. What thoughts come to mind as you meditate on this word, phrase or idea? What are you reminded of in your life? What does it make you hope for? Meditation is no easy task. As you try to concentrate, don’t be disappointed if random thoughts enter your head. As they do, offer them to God.
Now begin to speak to God. Tell God what word, phrase or idea captured your attention and what came to mind as you meditated upon it. How is God using this word, phrase or idea to bless and transform you? Tell God what you have been thinking and feeling as you’ve listened and meditated. Tell God how you hope this word, phrase or idea will change your heart to be more like his.
Finish by focusing your attention on the fact that God’s presence is with you. If as you try to focus on God’s presence you sense a need to read the text again, or continue meditating, or to simply continue talking with God, allow yourself to do so. As you do, know that you are in the presence of God.
“God speaks in the silence of the heart. Listening is the beginning of prayer.” Mother Teresa