Lectio divina – Hearing God in Scripture
A way that we can learn to listen to God through Scripture, which can be used in our own personal quiet times or in a small group setting, such as a home group…
Step 1: Lectio (Read)
Read closely and listen with the ear of your heart – which word of phrase shimmers or stands out to you?
Step 2: Meditatio (Reflect)
Why do you think these words resonated with you? Might God be telling you something?
Step 3: Oratio (Pray in response)
Your meditation turns to dialogue; respond to what God might be saying to you.
Step 4: Contemplatio (Contemplation)
You may wait on God, and through his Spirit dwell in Him – simply be with God.
An example passage:
‘The man who enters by the gate is the shepherd of his sheep (…) and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice (…).
I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me – just as the Father knows me and I know the Father – and I lay down my life for the sheep.’
John 10: 2-4, 14-15
- Short prayer for the Holy Spirit
- Read the Bible passage aloud twice (lectio).
- Be silent for two minutes. Read closely and listen with the ear of your heart – which word of phrase shimmers or stands out to you? Any thought or impression that pops up? Don’t think too hard – follow your heart and intuition instead.
- Speak out aloud what word or feeling stands out for you, or pops up (just mention these words, and don’t respond to each other)
- Read the Bible passage again, aloud.
- Have a few more minutes of silence (meditatio).
- Why do you think these words resonated with you?
- Might God be telling you something?
- Share in a few sentences how this passage speaks to you (don’t respond to each other)
- Have a time of silent prayer (oratio en contemplatio).
- Feel free to speak aloud a few words or a sentence to thank God for who He is, or for what He is doing in you at this moment.
This technique can take a times to get used to it, and it may be worth trying it a number of times during a week to become comfortable.
In practice, this does not replace the importance of the study of Scripture. It is another way to read Scripture alongside our regular practices.
To download this method: Lectio Divina (pdf download)