Prayer Workshop: Lectio Divina

For other posts concerning the Prayer Workshop, click HERE.

I frequently recommend praying with the Scriptures (aka the Bible), but I haven’t always done a good job of explain how to pray with the Scriptures. Sorry about that. Here’s an attempt to remedy this problem.

In today’s Prayer Workshop, we’re going to talk about one of the more popular ways to pray with a passage from Scripture, namely Lectio Divina, which is Latin for Divine Reading. There are many ways to pray with the Scriptures, but this is one I’ve found to be most helpful for my life of prayer. Here’s a basic outline of Lectio Divina:

  • Pick out a passage of Scripture. Something from one of the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) will probably be best if you haven’t prayed in this way very often in the past.
    • A great option may be the Gospel passage from Mass for the day or for the upcoming Sunday. You can find that HERE.
  • Start with a simple prayer, asking the Holy Spirit to enlighten your mind and heart during this time of prayer.
    • Example: “Come, Holy Spirit! I ask that you help me remain focused during this time of prayer. Make this passage come alive in my mind and heart. Show me whatever you want me to know. Amen.”
  • Read the passage, either out loud or silently. Rest in silence for 2-3 minutes. Meditate on the passage you just read. Is there a word or phrase that stands out to you? Let that word or phrase penetrate your mind.
  • Read the passage again. Rest in silence for 2-3 minutes again. This time, are there any images that come to your mind? Are there any particular emotions that come up? Or any ideas about what Jesus has said or how the people are responding to him?
  • Read the passage a third time. Rest in silence for 2-3 minutes again. How does the Lord want this passage to change your life? Do you sense a particular invitation from Jesus? What does he want you to do now that you’ve spent this time being refreshed by him? How is this passage of the Word of God piercing your heart?
  • Finish your time with a prayer of thanksgiving.
    • Example: “Thank you, Holy Spirit, for giving me this time to rest in the Word. Give me the grace I need to keep this Word at the front of my mind and heart. Let it penetrate everything I say and do. Amen.”