Benedictine Prayer - Lectio Divina

Dating from the 5th century, Divine Reading, Lectio Divina, is comprised of a ladder with 4 steps...

  1. Reading you should seek;
  2. Meditating, you will find;
  3. Praying, you shall call; and
  4. Contemplating, the door will be opened to you!

Reading appeals especially to the Sensing-Judging personality type

Either by reading Scripture or other devotional material, we actively seek after the Word of God and divine truth. This is coming into the presence of revealed truth and His Presence revealed to us in this way.

Meditation appeals especially to the appeals especially to the appeals especially to the iNtuitive-Thinking personality type.

We welcome the Word of God into our lives and turn it from a dead word into the living word and presence of God. We need to ruminate upon the Word of God as a cow does upon its cud. We bring to life the meaning of divine revelation as we personalize and adapt it to our daily living. We can project ourselves into the biblical story (Ignatian Spirituality) or we can transpose the story and apply it to ourselves today. In either case, our use of our imagination is important and valuable!

Prayer appeals especially to the iNtuitive-Feeling and Sensing-Perceiving personality type

This is not a monolog with our speaking to God...but our response to revealed truth... we decide whether we will incorporate the Word of God into our heart, our life, our work or whether we will rationalize a rejection of its efficacy for us. See 2 Timothy 3.16. Our response is expressed through words, thoughts, desires, feelings, resolutions, decisions, commitments, dedications; or through sorrow for past failures; through gratitude, praise, petition.

We can use the four different kinds of prayer described by the acronym, ACTS: Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving and Supplication.

True prayer is, first and foremost, listening to God speaking to us and then, secondarily, responding to God's words for us.

Contemplation appeals especially to the iNtuitive-Feeling personality type

We must give God ample opportunity to reveal himself to us. We cannot hurry God. See Psalm 46:11. Having prepared ourselves by reading, meditation and prayer, we now await whatever graces God might see fit to send our way.

The Four Steps may be taken in any order we choose so that one may go from one to the other and then back again. A spiritual journal is frequently a great help to people using Lectio Divina. In it we note any insights that come to us during our reading, meditation, and contemplation. We also enter in our responses during the Prayer time.

Prayer Handbook Benedictine Prayer