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Lectio Divina 101

By Rev. Caroline Osborne

Lectio divina is an ancient practice of prayerfully reading Scripture. While lectio is a wonderful exercise to practice in a group setting, it can also be practiced alone as part of your quiet time with God. Below is a basic format for lectio on your own.

ORATIO

Open your time with prayer. Praise God for who he is, thank him for the blessings he has given you, ask for forgiveness for any sins you have committed, and ask him to speak to you through his Word, the Bible.

LECTIO

Read the passage selected for the day. Ask God to help you enter the passage through the details of the passage. Who wrote it? Why? If it is a story, who is in it? What was the setting? If it is not a story, who was the intended audience? What is the speaker/writer seeking to convey to them?

Read the passage again. Ask God to help you enter the passage through your imagination. What would it be like to be there? What would you see, hear, smell, feel, and taste if you were there? What would you feel emotionally? What would you think? Where do you feel that today? What might God be telling you through that?

Before you read the passage a final time, ask God to draw your mind and heart to focus on what he has to say to you. Read the passage. Is there a word, phrase, sentence, or idea that jumps out at you? Meditate on that for a few minutes. What is God saying to you through it?

MEDITATIO

Reflect on what you heard God saying to you through your reading. How can you respond to it? Is there a relationship you need to mend? A sin you need to confess? A blessing you have failed to be grateful for? Respond to the Lord with action after you finish your quiet time.

ORATIO

Close your quiet time with prayer. Respond to what you heard the Lord say with praise, thanksgiving, repentance, confession, and anything else you may need to pray. If you didn’t feel like you heard anything, thank him for his Word and ask that he continue to guide you.



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