The Lectio Divina Method of Bible Study

[2023-02-09 Thu]

See my Video on Lectio Divina

Traditional Bible studies can be overly analytical, which turn the Biblical material into correct information that must be properly understood. The focus is on knowing. This is a typical Evangelical "Western" approach to Bible study. Though this approach is necessary, it is not the only way to read the Bible.

An alternative method is the Lectio Divina (which means "Sacred Reading") which is an ancient spiritual practice that allows us one experience the presence of God through reading and listening, prayer, meditation and contemplation.

The focus is thus on experiencing God, not on apprehending information.

Note it has these main parts:

It is a very simple, and easily learned spiritual practice to slow life down and allow God to speak clearly through His Word into our lives.

The method outlined below is for individual study. But this can easily be transformed for group study. For group Lectio Divina, people first do each task individually in silence, then share what they are hearing from God with the group.



Read: Read through the text slowly and repeatedly. As you read, pay attention to a word, phrase or idea that catches your attention.

Text: John 6:29-35

John 6:29 - Jesus answered, "The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent."
John 6:30 - So they asked him, "What sign then will you give that we may see it and believe you? What will you do?
John 6:31 - Our ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written: 'He gave them bread from heaven to eat.'"
John 6:32 - Jesus said to them, "Very truly I tell you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven.
John 6:33 - For the bread of God is the bread that comes down from heaven and gives life to the world." John 6:34 - "Sir," they said, "always give us this bread."
John 6:35 - Then Jesus declared, "I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.

Meditate: Begin to meditate on the word, phrase or idea that has captured your attention. Repeat it again and again. Consider what thoughts come to mind as you meditate on this word, phrase or idea. What does it remind you of? What does it make you hope for? Don't worry when random thoughts enter your head. As they come, offer them to God.

Pray: Pray to God. Tell God what word, phrase or idea captured your attention and what came to mind as you meditated upon it. How is God using this word, phrase or idea to bless and transform you? Tell God what you have been thinking and feeling as you've listened and meditated. Tell God how you hope he will use this word, phrase or idea to change your heart to be more like his.

Contemplate: Finish by focusing your attention on the fact that God is present with you. Be still before God and invite him in. Few words, if any, are necessary here. Enjoy time in his presence. Just be with him and let him love you and refresh your soul.

Share: Let each share what they are hearing from the Lord.

For more resources see:

The Scottish Bible Society

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Author: red

Created: 2023-03-02 Thu 11:10