Sermon Audio (2014.09.07) – Lectio Divina Practice

September 9th, 2014 | John Chandler

Lectio Divina is an ancient process for hearing, praying and experiencing God’s word.

This audio file will walk you through how to practice listening to God’s word on your own.

Then read through the passage four times, as described below.

I. LECTIO – Listen 

After a short moment of silence, ask one person to read the passage. Listen for specific words or phrases that grab your attention. 

After the reading, take another moment to quietly meditate on it.

The art of Lectio Divina begins with cultivating the ability to listen deeply. We are learning to hear “with the ear of our hearts.”

When we read the Scriptures we should try to imitate the prophet Elijah who God learned to listen for the still, small voice of God. The cry of the prophets to ancient Israel was the joy-filled command to “Listen!” “Sh’ma Israel: Hear, O Israel!”

In lectio divina we heed that command and turn to the Scriptures, knowing that we must “hear,” that is, listen, to the voice of God, which often speaks very softly.

II. MEDITATIO – Meditate

Have a second reader read the passage. 

Meditate on the passage and the words or phrases that stood out upon first reading. Try to ‘pray the passage.’ Ask God to reveal what the passage means.

Once we have found a word or a passage in the Scriptures that speaks to us in a personal way, we must take it in and “ruminate” on it.

The image of the ruminant animal quietly chewing its cud was used in antiquity as a symbol of the Christian pondering the Word of God.

Christians have always seen a scriptural invitation to lectio divina in the example of the Virgin Mary “pondering in her heart” what she saw and heard of Christ (Luke 2:19).

III. ORATIO — Share Aloud

After a third reading, share and discuss the words or phrases that stood out to you.

Prayer is dialogue with God. It is a loving conversation with the One who has invited us into His embrace. It is also consecration. We act as priests, offering to God our whole selves, even parts we did not think he would want.

Share your word or phrase aloud. Consider why these were meaningful to you. If anyone shared a word or phrase in common, it might be helpful to discuss that specifically.

IV. CONTEMPLATIO – Contemplate. 

Read the passage a final time, savoring the words and thoughts shared earlier.

Finally, we simply rest. Experience the presence of the One who has used His word to invite us to accept His transforming embrace.

In loving relationships, there are moments when words are unnecessary. It is the same in our relationship with God.

Wordless, quiet rest in the presence of the One who loves us has a name in the Christian tradition – contemplatio, contemplation.

Practice silence. Let go of our own words. Then, simply enjoy the experience of being in the presence of God.

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