Silence for 2-5 minutes:
If your mind wanders, silently pray a simple prayer again and again, such as, "I surrender to your love" or "Jesus, son of David, have mercy on me" until the Holy Spirit gives you a sense of peace and focus.
I waited patiently for the Lord;
he inclined to me and heard my cry.
He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure.
He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the Lord.
Blessed is the man who makes the Lord his trust, who does not turn to the proud, to those who go astray after a lie!
You have multiplied, O Lord my God, your wondrous deeds and your thoughts toward us; none can compare with you! I will proclaim and tell of them, yet they are more than can be told.
Today, we are going to do something a bit different. I want us to practice lectio divina, which is a slow, prayerful and contemplative reading of a short passage of scripture.
Richard Foster describes lectio divina:
When praying, I find lectio divina—”spiritual reading”—a wonderful help. We should not think of “spiritual reading” as reading in the normal sense in the same way we should not think that allowing a mint to dissolve in our mouth is eating. Normally, we read quickly—the quicker the better—to amass information or understand some issue. But in spiritual reading, we seek to turn our heart and mind and spirit ever so gently to the Divine Center. We seek to be unified, focused, synoptic. It is prayerful reading in which all of our external and internal senses swing like a needle to the pole star of the Spirit. We become “all ears” to God.
The Process of Lectio Divina:
1. Prepare yourself by quieting yourself to listen to God’s Word.
2. Listen to the Word of God.
A. As the passage is read twice, listen for the word or phrase that strikes you. During the silence, repeat that phrase softly, or silently to yourself.
B. When invited, say aloud to the group this word or phrase without comment or
3. Ask, “How is my life touched by this word?”
A. The passage is read again. This is followed by personal meditation on how this word or phrase connects with your life.
B. When invited, state in one or two sentences the connection between the phrase and your life.
4. Ask, “Is there an invitation for me to respond to?”
A. After the passage is read a third time, ponder whether you are being
encouraged to do something in response
B. Share this response briefly with the others
C. Pray for one another to be able to respond to God’s word