By Marlene Kropf
Thursday, June 30, 2016

From the Benedictines of the fifth century comes a way of “praying the scriptures” known as Lectio Divina (literally, sacred reading).  The Benedictines were people of God who lived a life of prayer and manual labor. They developed an approach to prayer which encouraged restful silence, waiting, listening, and thoughtful response.

The idea behind Lectio Divina is a simple but potent one. It is as revolutionary as the yeast kneaded by the woman in the gospel parable. If we devote ourselves to meditation on God’s Word for a few minutes a day, we will gradually be changed; a new person will emerge who looks at life and humanity with a transformed attitude, a person who sees with the heart of Christ.

The approach consists of four movements:


1.  Lectio (Reading—Under the eye of God)

Begin by consciously placing yourself in God’s loving presence. You may want to spend a few minutes in silence, light a candle, pray a prayer of openness, or listen to a piece of meditative music.

Read through the scripture in a slow, thoughtful way, listening to God’s Word to you. It is best to read the text out loud very slowly – perhaps several times.

2 Meditatio (Meditation—When your heart is touched)

Read the text until you come to a word, a phrase or a sentence that attracts you or touches your heart. Stop to re-read the phrase, savoring its goodness and sweetness in much the same way that you would delight in a well-seasoned meal.

You may want to jot down the words or phrases that emerge during this time of meditation. Especially if the text is a story or poetry, you may find yourself entering into the actions or images. Let your thoughts and imagination be part of the meditation.

3. Oratio (Personal prayer—Expressing to God what is in your heart)

Respond to God in prayer—silently, aloud, or by writing. You may be prompted to give thanks or make a confession, to respond to an invitation or warning, to note some connection to your life, mood or need, to pour out your heart to God, or to intercede for others.  This is the prayer of the heart.

4. Contemplatio (Contemplation—Giving yourself up to love)

Rest in God’s presence. Wait silently. Thank God for being with you and loving you. This is being held by God, surrendering to God, trusting the Spirit to pray within you. ​Again, this may be a time for journaling—for writing down what God has given you in prayer. 

 

 

 Related

 

 

Peace Circles seminar encourages active peacemakingPeace Circleshttps://www.mennonitemission.net/resources/peace/spiritual-practices/peace-circles/51/Peace-Circles-seminar-encourages-active-peacemakingPeace Circles seminar encourages active peacemakingGP0|#c953f025-3c6b-4f9a-a9e3-017fae8baf9c;L0|#0c953f025-3c6b-4f9a-a9e3-017fae8baf9c|Peace Circles;GTSet|#544fcc8d-5de2-49c8-9d51-afee09323476;GPP|#6fbe84a8-914a-47aa-8371-49b9ca24396e;GPP|#9d4fce68-df49-4d3c-ab43-20e3366352cf;GPP|#aeaa92ce-e381-45ff-b548-e66107973e8c
Peace Circles—sample sessionPeace Circleshttps://www.mennonitemission.net/resources/peace/spiritual-practices/peace-circles/3679/Peace-Circles—sample-sessionPeace Circles—sample sessionGP0|#c953f025-3c6b-4f9a-a9e3-017fae8baf9c;L0|#0c953f025-3c6b-4f9a-a9e3-017fae8baf9c|Peace Circles;GTSet|#544fcc8d-5de2-49c8-9d51-afee09323476;GPP|#6fbe84a8-914a-47aa-8371-49b9ca24396e;GPP|#9d4fce68-df49-4d3c-ab43-20e3366352cf;GPP|#aeaa92ce-e381-45ff-b548-e66107973e8c
Peace Circles—seminar overviewPeace CirclesCurriculumhttps://www.mennonitemission.net/resources/peace/spiritual-practices/peace-circles/3680/Peace-Circles—seminar-overviewPeace Circles—seminar overviewGP0|#c953f025-3c6b-4f9a-a9e3-017fae8baf9c;L0|#0c953f025-3c6b-4f9a-a9e3-017fae8baf9c|Peace Circles;GTSet|#544fcc8d-5de2-49c8-9d51-afee09323476;GPP|#6fbe84a8-914a-47aa-8371-49b9ca24396e;GPP|#9d4fce68-df49-4d3c-ab43-20e3366352cf;GPP|#aeaa92ce-e381-45ff-b548-e66107973e8c
Centering Prayer: Be still and know that I am GodPrayhttps://www.mennonitemission.net/resources/peace/spiritual-practices/15/Centering-prayer-Be-stillCentering Prayer: Be still and know that I am GodGP0|#6fbe84a8-914a-47aa-8371-49b9ca24396e;L0|#06fbe84a8-914a-47aa-8371-49b9ca24396e|Spiritual practices;GTSet|#544fcc8d-5de2-49c8-9d51-afee09323476;GPP|#9d4fce68-df49-4d3c-ab43-20e3366352cf;GPP|#aeaa92ce-e381-45ff-b548-e66107973e8c
The Jesus prayerPrayhttps://www.mennonitemission.net/resources/peace/spiritual-practices/14/The-Jesus-PrayerThe Jesus prayerGP0|#6fbe84a8-914a-47aa-8371-49b9ca24396e;L0|#06fbe84a8-914a-47aa-8371-49b9ca24396e|Spiritual practices;GTSet|#544fcc8d-5de2-49c8-9d51-afee09323476;GPP|#9d4fce68-df49-4d3c-ab43-20e3366352cf;GPP|#aeaa92ce-e381-45ff-b548-e66107973e8c
Lectio Divina (Praying Scripture)Prayhttps://www.mennonitemission.net/resources/peace/spiritual-practices/16/Lectio-Divina-Praying-ScriptureLectio Divina (Praying Scripture)GP0|#6fbe84a8-914a-47aa-8371-49b9ca24396e;L0|#06fbe84a8-914a-47aa-8371-49b9ca24396e|Spiritual practices;GTSet|#544fcc8d-5de2-49c8-9d51-afee09323476;GPP|#9d4fce68-df49-4d3c-ab43-20e3366352cf;GPP|#aeaa92ce-e381-45ff-b548-e66107973e8c
Prayer of AwarenessSpiritual practiceshttps://www.mennonitemission.net/resources/peace/spiritual-practices/12/Prayer of AwarenessPrayer of AwarenessGP0|#6fbe84a8-914a-47aa-8371-49b9ca24396e;L0|#06fbe84a8-914a-47aa-8371-49b9ca24396e|Spiritual practices;GTSet|#544fcc8d-5de2-49c8-9d51-afee09323476;GPP|#9d4fce68-df49-4d3c-ab43-20e3366352cf;GPP|#aeaa92ce-e381-45ff-b548-e66107973e8c
Christian pledge of allegiance cardsCard order formhttps://www.mennonitemission.net/resources/peace/spiritual-practices/4085/Christian-pledge-of-allegianceChristian pledge of allegiance cardsGP0|#6fbe84a8-914a-47aa-8371-49b9ca24396e;L0|#06fbe84a8-914a-47aa-8371-49b9ca24396e|Spiritual practices;GTSet|#544fcc8d-5de2-49c8-9d51-afee09323476;GPP|#9d4fce68-df49-4d3c-ab43-20e3366352cf;GPP|#aeaa92ce-e381-45ff-b548-e66107973e8c

 

 

https://www.mennonitemission.net/resources/peace/spiritual-practices/16/Lectio-Divina-Praying-Scripture



 

 

Mennonites and Muslims in Burkina Faso celebrate a unified response to sufferinghttps://www.mennonitemission.net/news/4659/Mennonites-and-Muslims-in-Burkina-Faso-celebrate-a-unified-response-to-sufferingMennonites and Muslims in Burkina Faso celebrate a unified response to sufferingInterfaith Collaboration
A Guatemalan mountainside was exactly where I needed to behttps://www.mennonitemission.net/blog/4660/A-Guatemalan-mountainside-was-exactly-where-I-needed-to-beA Guatemalan mountainside was exactly where I needed to beCASAS Internship
Burkina Faso church partners safe amid military takeoverhttps://www.mennonitemission.net/news/4658/Burkina-Faso-church-partners-safe-amid-military-takeoverBurkina Faso church partners safe amid military takeoverNew Release
Mennonite women in Congo spread the gospel through literacyhttps://www.mennonitemission.net/blog/4656/Mennonite-women-in-Congo-spread-the-gospel-through-literacyMennonite women in Congo spread the gospel through literacyLiteracy in Congo
Service illuminates good in the worldhttps://www.mennonitemission.net/blog/4655/Service-illuminates-good-in-the-worldService illuminates good in the worldService Adventure
Service is a new adventure at 61 degrees northhttps://www.mennonitemission.net/blog/4654/Service-is-a-new-adventure-at-61-degrees-northService is a new adventure at 61 degrees northService Adventure