“If anyone loves me, he will keep my word,
@@and my Father will love him,
@@@@and we will come to him and make our home with him." John 14:23

 

Lectio Divina alone: a simple way

There are different ways in which to do lectio divina,
but here are some guidelines to get you started.

Before beginning your prayer, it is important to know which passage from the Bible you are going to read, and to know how long you are giving to this time with God. You might want to use a timer of some kind, or a tape with silence leading to some reflective music.

Find a comfortable, quiet place to pray.

Begin by simply taking a pause: some moments of silence to relax, breathe deeply, recollect and become aware that you are in God's presence. Be yourself before God, humble and open, aware that he desires to speak with you. Listen.

Pray for the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

Read the passage you have chosen, slowly, with gentle pauses after each verse. Then take a few minutes just to let these words wash over you. Wait upon God, in patience and with a trusting and honest disposition.

Read the passage again, slowly. As you read, be attentive to every word, with a listening of the heart. Take time simply to absorb and ponder the word, the breath of God.

It may be that as you read a particular word or phrase holds your attention, or stands out for you in some way. Take these words and spend time with them. Alternatively, you may choose to pause and reflect after each verse of the text.

A gentle repetition of the words may allow you to begin meditating. This is a way of interacting with God's word. Chew over the words, allowing them to lead you more deeply within, opening hidden depths of meaning that speak to the heart. Listen in silence to God speaking to you through this word.

Naturally, you may feel drawn to a more direct prayer with God: a dialogue. You may wish to offer up prayers, hurts, thoughts, confusions, to ask questions, or simply to offer yourself more wholly to God. Allow time for this conversation which God's word to you has inspired.

Listen also to your own thoughts, feelings and reflections inspired by meditation, and to all that you lay before God. Remember it is God's Spirit who prays within you "in groans too deep for words": how is the Spirit calling to you? What is your response?

When you need, return to the text and read again. You may wish to return to the same word or phrase, or feel drawn to reflect on another line. Repeat this process of slow reading, meditating, and dialogue with God as long as you need.

Finally, you may choose to finish your time of lectio divina by a simple resting with God: to allow words to fall away, even just for a moment. Simply acknowledge his presence and his love. Offer the time of prayer to God in simplicity and gratitude.

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Page last updated on 15 February, 2015