Lectio Divina Format handout (PDF)
1) Retreat (separatio): The idea here is to get away from the business and urgency of your daily life. Find a quiet spot where you can spend 15-20 minutes of uninterrupted time with God and his Word. Ask God’s Holy Spirit to speak to you through the Scripture, revealing truths about himself, yourself, and the world.
2) Read (lectio): Pick a short section of Scripture (5-15 verses). Read the passage aloud, slowly, and prayerfully two to three times. Ask God to highlight a word or phrase as you read. When something seems to stand out to you, trust that God is bringing that to you for a reason.
3) Reflect (meditatio): Take that word or phrase and meditate on it. The psalmist challenges us to meditate on God’s word “day and night” (Ps 1:2). Look at it from all different perspectives. Why might God have brought this to your attention? What might God want to say to you?
4) Respond (oratio): Talk to God about this. Thank him for speaking to you. Ask him to apply this truth to your life. Take time to listen to God. Remember that prayer is a dialogue not a monologue.
5) Rest (contemplatio): Sit quietly in God’s loving presence. Be with God as you might be with a friend sitting around a campfire after a day of hiking. Words may be unnecessary. This approach to prayer may seem awkward since we are accustomed to going to God with requests, praises, confession, or thanksgiving. Instead, rest with God without agenda.
6) Resolve (incarnatio): God’s word becomes flesh in us as we live out what we have received in lectio. God changes us and shapes us for a purpose. What happens to us as we participate in lectio should permeate our lives in our day-to-day world. Paul tells us that being shaped by his Word is so that we “may be complete, equipped for every good work” (2 Tim 3:17).