Lectio Divina is a way of reading scripture that allows contemplation, listening to the Holy Spirit, and even communion with God in order to more deeply appreciate and integrate scripture into one’s thinking and being. One may receive peace, guidance, joy, or insight from this practice. We have found it quite beneficial in small group settings, particularly when seeking faithfulness as a group to scriptures to which God has guided us.
In our experience, we may spend some time brainstorming scriptures on a certain topic or area of interest to the group. We read together and consider which passages seem most significant, or from which God seems to be speaking to us. Then, we arrange to spend time in Lectio Divina around those scriptures. God has spoken to us in powerful ways as we approach scripture in this way.
Here is how we have been practicing Lectio Divina
- Cultivate internal quietness through silence. Prepare to hear the “still small voice” of God (see 1 Kings 19:12). Sit with eyes closed and let your body relax. Allow yourself to become consciously aware of God’s presence with you. Start by expressing your willingness to hear from God in these moments by using a centering prayer such as “Come Lord Jesus,” “Here I am,” or “Speak Lord, your servant is listening.”
- Read the passage aloud twice, listening for a word or phrase that is God’s word for this day.
a. In silence, repeat and consider the word or phrase in your mind.
b. Share the word or phrase with the group.
- Read the passage aloud again (someone of the opposite sex from the first reader). This time the purpose is to hear or see Christ in the text.
a. In silence, consider how the word or phrase touches your life. How is Christ touching you through the word or phrase?
b. Share what you have heard or seen with the group.
- Read the passage again, this time for the purpose of experiencing Christ’s call to do something or change in some way.
a. In silence consider how Christ is calling you to action or change.
b. Share what you have heard from Christ.
- End by each person praying for one person in the group (e.g., the one on their right) based on what was shared by that person and as led by the Spirit.