February 10, 2008

The Practice of Lectio Divina

Luke 5:17-26

The power of the Lord was present ...
Luke 5:17


Lectio divina literally means ?divine reading.? This ancient method of spiritual devotion may be done alone or in a group. You prayerfully read a passage several times in one sitting and/or several days in a row, expecting God?s presence. We?ll focus on today?s passage four more times in the coming week. As the words soak in, listen for God to speak to you through the Scriptures.

Today we?ll begin lectio divina as follows: If you are reading these devotions as a family or small group, choose one person to read the passage slowly and clearly. If you?re alone, read aloud. Listen prayerfully to the words; respond silently or aloud by repeating words that strike you as most important in this moment.

Read the passage again. Respond by saying what the full text is telling you. What questions does it suggest? What details speak to you? What memories does it bring to mind? What do you find in your heart when you hear these words?

Read the passage again. Is God giving you a particular message? Is God calling you to a certain action? Offer yourself to God in prayer, if you feel called to do so.

Read the passage once more. Sit in silence for a few minutes, reflecting on the words God has spoken to you. Conclude with a prayer of thanks. You may also wish to write your responses in a journal.

Lord, when we read your Word, let us not treat it like it has magic powers. Teach us instead to read your Word often, slowly, deeply, trusting in you. In Jesus? name, Amen.

About the author — James and Rose Dekker

James C. Dekker is the pastor of Covenant Christian Reformed Church in St. Catharines, Ontario. Previously he served other congregations in Alberta and Ontario. Rose Dekker serves as a refugee coordinator for the Christian Reformed World Relief Committee in Canada. She also serves as a certified spiritual director. The Dekkers were missionaries for nine years with Christian Reformed World Missions, serving in Costa Rica, Guatemala, Venezuela, and Cuba.

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