Lectio Divinia

Lectio Divina (literally ‘Divine / Holy Reading’) is a way of praying meditatively with the Bible so that the Word of God can reach into our hearts and minds.

Lectio Divina can help us let go of our own agendas when we read the Bible. Like other forms of meditation, it silences the noise of the world around us, leading us in stages to an inner silence where God is waiting for us.

But Lectio Divina is not an escape from the world. Instead, God’s Word helps us see both our lives and the world around us through God’s eyes—and to love what we see in the heart of God. It is both inner-directed (to the presence of God within) and outer-directed (to the world God created).

When we listen to God’s Word in this way, meditation can be both a calming and a disturbing experience. Sometimes, God may want to quiet our fears and hold us gently. At other times, God may want to confront us with uncomfortable doubts or unanswered questions.


In the 12th century, a Carthusian monk named Guigo described four stages in the practice of Lectio Divina.


Lectio (reading): Read the Word of God slowly and reflectively. Any text from the Bible can be used for this purpose, but the reading should not be too long.

Meditatio (reflection): Think quietly about the text you read it. You can read the text many times to let the words sink into your mind and heart.

Oratio (response): Leave your thinking aside and simply let your heart speak to God.

Contemplatio (rest): Let go of your own ideas and plans. And you can go deeper: let go of your holy words and thoughts. Simply rest in the Word of God. Listen at the deepest level to God who speaks within you with a still, small voice.

As you read, reflect, respond and rest, you can leave yourself open to be transformed from within by God’s Word. Whether over time this transformation has an effect on the way you see and live in the world is one test of the authenticity of prayer. You take what you read into your daily life.


Try these examples of texts for meditation:

Truly my soul finds rest in God;My salvation comes from him (Psalm 62:1) NIV

My presence will go with you. And I will give you rest. (Exodus 33:14) NIV


Taken from http://www.ucc.org/feed-your-spirit/spiritual-practices/lectio-divina.html

About admin

Phil Bowyer is one of the founders of Integral Mission and Soul Action South Africa. He creates space for people who are exploring how to respond to various forms of poverty to connect with one another and God's mission. He is the author of several books on Integral Mission, incl. A Different World, Express Community and The Whole Wide World.