Lectio divina is latin for divine reading. It’s an ancient spiritual practice or discipline that prioritizes a more contemplative reading of Scripture. Studying God’s word has its beautiful place in our discipleship, but this slower rhythm of meditating on truth can open up our hearts and minds to the power and presence of God in new ways. What does it look like to “delight in the law of the Lord and to meditate on it day and night” as we read in Psalm 1?
We want to be like that tree that is planted by streams of water, that yields fruit in its season, and whose leaf does not wither. This is one way to delight in God’s word. I have included suggestions for Scripture to consider; however, if you are already following a Bible reading program or devotional, you can incorporate this practice right along with what you’re already reading.
1. Choose a Scripture, relax and pray.
Once you have your verse(s) take a deep breath and settle into a spot. Ask the Holy Spirit to illumine the word and to guide you in this time.
2. Read and re-read the text slowly and prayerfully.
You may want to do this at least 3 times as you remain mindful of what God might be stirring in you. Try reading the text aloud. Maybe take a few moments in between readings to hear the verse echo in your mind’s ear. Are there any words or phrases that stand out?
Sit with the verse. Consider the words that stood out and repeat those. Memorize them and ponder. Wonder with the Lord how they are personally connecting with you.
Talk to the Lord about what is coming up. What do you want to say to Him in response to His Word?
This might be a new word for you or even one that brings up resistance. Don’t be afraid! It simply means to sit in silence with God and recognize His presence with you and love for you. Rest in Him.
And, that’s it! It can take as little as 5 minutes, or you can take more time to roll out each step. May the Lord bless you as you take time to saturate yourself in His word.
Scripture to consider
I will curate these from month to month, so check back for new verses to meditate upon. Verses are ESV unless noted otherwise.
I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit.
Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.
As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love.
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
I remember the days of old; I meditate on all that you have done; I ponder the works of your hands. I stretch out my hands to you; my soul thirsts for you like a parched land.
If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light about me be night,” even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light to you.
Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain. It is vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep.
John 1:3-5 (NLT)
God created everything through him, and nothing was created except through him.
The Word gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-19
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit.
And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.”
“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream,
and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.”