A Guide to Lectio Divina
What is Lectio Divina? The term is Latin for “Divine Reading.” It is the practice of scripture reading, meditation and prayer intended to promote communion with God and increase our knowledge of God’s word.
There are 5 basic steps (or movements) to this approach of Scripture reading. Choose a passage that is 6-8 verses in length. Follow each movement by reading the passage and answer a question.
Where do you do Lectio Divina? It can be anywhere! It is most helpful when you have a quiet space. So make sure you’ve removed distractions.
What do I need? Just a Bible to read the passage you chose. You may choose to have a journal to write down your thoughts.
What are the movements?
Step 1: Silence and Prayer – Take a couple of deep breaths. Pause. Even if there is noise in the room, try to take a moment to quiet yourself and make room for God to speak. Pray and ask your heavenly Father to speak to you.
Step 2: Read – Now read your chosen passage over once or twice paying close attention to any word or phrase that sticks out or strikes a chord within you.
Step 3: Reflect – Read the passage again and reflect on those words or phrases that stand out. Ask, “What is going on in my life right now that I need to hear this?” and “What might God be saying to me?” Don’t move on from reflection too quickly. Sit for a few minutes allowing God’s Spirit to do his work. Maybe even take a breath and close your eyes for a moment.
Step 4: Respond – Here is where we answer the question, “What is God inviting me into?” and we respond to it. Or perhaps God is asking something of us – and we respond to it.
Step 5: Rest – Once we have responded to what God has said, we read the passage one more time and meditate on what you’ve experienced and rest with God.
Suggested Scripture Reading
Practice this with Phillippians, Ephesians, or Colossians
“14 For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. 20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever! Amen.”
“12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16 Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. 17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”
Philippians 2: 1-8
“Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. 5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; 7 rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!”