Lectio divina, which means Holy Reading, is a slow, quiet, and thoughtful encounter with Scripture. This is a practice that I’ve found helpful over the years, but have struggled to maintain on a regular basis. ‘Slow and quiet’ are not adjectives for my life, even in these lockdown days. The headphones are our prayer pocket object for this, as we seek to find ways to listen on the go.
Lectio divina is a way of praying using scripture. Sometimes I find reading through the instructions can make it seem overly complicated. The key is we read a short passage three or four times, listening for the still small voice of a word or phrase that stands out, and talk to God about it. It’s not a bible study, it is spending time with God connecting with the word on a heart level rather than a mind level.
“What I love about lectio divina is the way you can enter immediately into the Word. You don’t need to know everything about the background or history or details of the Scripture you are praying. You don’t need to figure out every theological meaning of the passage.
You simply open yourself up to let God’s Word speak to your life, where you are right now. And I’m always amazed at what is revealed.” (Laura Kelly Fenucci)
Read: Read the passage out loud.
Meditate: Read the passage a second time. Listen for a word or phrase that speaks to you.
Pray: Read the passage a third time. Reflect on how God may be speaking to you through that word or phrase.
Contemplate: Read the passage a fourth time. Reflect on how God may be calling you to act through the word or phrase that spoke to you.
Act: Close with a prayer of gratitude and response to God’s invitation.
(Description from Mothering Spirit blog by Laura Kelly Fenucci.)
The Lectio 365 app is produced by 24-7 prayer. This is a daily devotional app which you can either read or listen to. I sometimes listen and pray as I stretch in the mornings.
Pray as you Go is available online and as an app, and is a Jesuit audio devotional. Lasting between ten and thirteen minutes, it combines music, scripture and some questions for reflection.
I also appreciated this article on How to Pray Lectio Divina with your Kids and this Practice of Group Lectio Divina. We used this at our Mums’ Bible Study in an echoey room with loud toddlers, it was not slow and quiet at all, yet we still found gifts from the time.