lectio divina and your group

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Have any of you ever used lectio divina with your group?

Check this out, and give a try and see what your kids think!

At Winterfest this year, we got to go through some contemplative worship experiences.

The adult class participated with lectio divina (prayer meditative reading) -- I have used this practice with my teens in our Tuesday night Bible studies, and they love it.

An Ancient Way of Praying with Scripture
Lectio Divina refers in Latin to the practice of "divine reading." This form of spiritual reading originated in the Benedictine tradition and involves a deeply personal and prayerful encounter with the presence of God through sacred scripture. Lectio invites us to listen to the word of God with our whole being and our longing to be touched, healed and transformed by the Holy Spirit.

In order to practice lectio divina, select a time and place that is peaceful and in which you may be alert and prayerfully attentive. Dispose yourself for prayer in whatever way is natural for you. This may be a spoken prayer to God to open you more fully to the Spirit, a gentle relaxation process that focuses on breathing, singing or chanting, or simply a few minutes of silence to empty yourself of thoughts, images, and emotions.

Reading (lectio) - Slowly begin reading a biblical passage as if it were a long awaited love letter addressed to you. Approach it reverentially and expectantly, in a way that savors each word and phrase. Read the passage until you hear a word or phrase that touches you, resonates, attracts or even disturbs you.

Reflecting (meditatio) - Ponder this word or phrase for a few minutes. Let it sink in slowly and deeply until you are resting in it. Listen for what the word or phrase is saying to you at this moment in your life, what it may be offering to you, what it may be demanding of you.

Expressing (oratio) - When you feel ready, openly and honestly express to God the prayers that arise spontaneously within you from your experience of this word or phrase. These may be prayers of thanksgiving, petition, intercession, lament, or praise.

Resting (contemplatio) - Allow yourself to simply rest silently with God for a time in the stillness of your heart remaining open to the quiet fullness of God's love and peace. This is like the silence of communion between the mother holding her sleeping infant child or between lovers whose communication with each other passes beyond words.

These four movements of lectio divina may not always follow a linear progression. Allow yourself freedom and pray as you can. The aim is to move into the depths of silence and stillness where we can hear the Word spoken to us in love and respond to this Word with our love and our life. This is a gentle invitation into a movement from silence into the Word and back into silence, dwelling there in the presence of God.

2 Responses to “lectio divina and your group”

  1. Blogger J-Wild 

    Yes we have and it was great. Each sunday for about six weeks we did it and the kids responded positively. It was great for me as well because it forced me to step back and let the kids do more than I usually do. I used different versions of the same text and even had some kids who knew Spanish or French read the verse in those languages. I played music since silence is incredibly difficult for my kids. All in all it was a positive step towards getting my kids more in touch with the Bible.

    Just so you know the very last week I opened up the meeting by reading our verse(s) once, and then waited for a kid to be moved to come and read as well. It never happened, so when I say it was successful I don't mean to imply that it wasn't frustrating at times as well :)

  2. Blogger Chris(co) 

    Lectio is very awesome

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