Also called meditative or devotional reading, this practice allows us to listen to what God is speaking to us personally through His word. Take your time going through these 6 steps:
— Before reading the passage, take 1-2 minutes to transition from what you were just doing to be present right now to God and His conversation with you. Quiet your thoughts. Take some deep breaths. Thank God that He is with you.
— Read the passage slowly and carefully, either silently or aloud.
— Re-read the passage paying attention for a word or phrase that catches your attention.
— Read the passage a third time, asking God why this word or phrase is important to your life right now. Listen to Him. Ask Him questions. Express your thoughts.
— Naturally, the conversation will come to an end. Take a few minutes to marvel in the fact that the Creator of the Universe is in conversation with you. He is always pursuing relationship with you.
— In moving out of this time, what is God asking of you in response to this conversation? How will you remember what God has been saying to you?
Lectio Divina with Kids
• Say a brief prayer asking God to quiet your hearts and make you open to what He wants to say, or using Samuel’s words, “Speak, Lord, for your servants are listening.”
• Read the passage aloud, slowly. After you’ve read the first time, explain that you will read the verses again, paying attention for which word or phrase stands out or speaks to your heart.
• Read the passage a second time (if your kids are readers take turns reading the passage so you can hear the slightly different emphasis from different readers). Go around, giving each person a chance to say the word that stood out to them (if there wasn’t one that’s ok!)
• Read the passage a third time and spend a few minutes in silence, giving everyone a chance to talk to God about what they heard. After the silence, take turns sharing with one another.
• Take another minute or two in silence to just enjoy the fact that God is with you. Finish with a brief prayer thanking God for being with us and for speaking to us through the Bible.
• Ask if anyone felt invited by God to do something with what He said to them (this could be an action to take, a fear to let go of, etc.) You may want to pray again after, asking God for grace to accept His invitations
Lectio Divina Resources:
Article: The Basics of Lectio Divina by Joy O’Byrne. Includes guides for individuals and groups.
Book: Meeting God in Scripture: a Hands on Guide to Lectio Divina by Jan Johnson.
Podcast: Daily Lectio Divina from Abiding Way Ministries.