Lectio Divina

Scripture calls us to meditate on the word of God. What does that mean? It means that we are to fill our minds with God’s thoughts so that we might learn God’s desires for our lives and follow after those. How do we do that though? One practice used by the Church historically is Lectio Divina or “Divine Reading.” Lectio Divina is an ancient practice of listening to God through his inspired word. Here are the steps:

Step One: Read the Passage Out Loud to Yourself [1][1][1]Feel free to find a recording of the passage in the translation of your choice online and use this recording to listen to the passage for any of the “readings” during this practice. Bible Gateway is a great resource for access to different translations and recordings.

As you read, listen for a word or phrase that sticks out to you most. Don’t try to hard, just listen and something will stick out to you. Whatever word or phrase naturally grabs your attention, hold on to it.

Step Two: Reflect on the Word or Phrase

Spend about five minutes in silence reflecting on the word or phrase that caught your attention. Don’t read into it much now just repeat the word to yourself silently and let it begin to form your reflection.

Step Three: Read the Passage Out Loud to Yourself

On this second reading, listen for how your word or phrase fits within the passage as a whole. What other words does your word or phrase inform in some way? Is it repeated? Are there synonyms of your word or phrase? Are their antonyms of your word or phrase? 

Step Four: Reflect on the Context of Your Word or Phrase

Spend about five minutes in silence reflecting on how your word or phrase fit into the rest of the passage. How did it highlight meaning in the rest of the passage? Do you see anything in the passage now that you did not see before because of your word or phrase?

Step Five: Pray

Spend some time now praying to God and asking why the Spirit brought this word or phrase to you. Ask for God to help highlight what message he is bringing to you in your reflection on this passage. Do not begin to think about these things yet. This prayer is a preparation for the final reading of the passage.

Step Six: Read the Passage Out Loud to Yourself

As you read, continue to pray for God’s guidance through his Spirit. Ask for help in understanding what God has for you in this passage. 

Step Seven: Listen for the Spirit’s Guidance from Your Word or Phrase

Spend five or more minutes in reflection on what the Spirit is speaking to you. Feel free to have a piece of paper or journal nearby to record your thoughts. Continue to ask the Holy Spirit to remove any thoughts that are not from him and help focus on what is from him.


End your meditation in a period of stillness and spirit of listening to God.