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Lent – Week 7

LECTIO DIVINA | Prayerful Reading of Scripture

Ref. Sacred Companions by David G. Benner

Introduction

Lectio Divina is an ancient spiritual practice from the Christian monastic tradition. It is the practice of “divine reading” or praying Scripture. It involves a balance of silence and God’s word, seeking to encounter God as he speaks directly and personally through his word. It involves listening to a short passage, setting aside understanding and analysis, to open oneself to receive God’s word “expectantly and passively” (Benner).

Process

Read the passage four times, paying attention to different aspects of the passage as it is read.   Feel free to try a couple of different Bible translations.

     First and Second Reading

Read the passage aloud, twice, attentively listening for words or phrases that stick out. The purpose of this reading is to hear the text and listen for a word or phrase or idea that captures your attention.

     Third Reading

Focus your attention on that word, phrase or idea, repeating it to yourself silently as you read through passage a third time. After the third reading and a time of silent reflection, write down what you’ve heard from the Lord.

     Fourth Reading

During the fourth reading, consider what God is inviting you to do or become. After the reading and a time of silent reflection, write down or share immediately with others what God is calling to you.

 

Psalm 23

ESV

The LORD Is My Shepherd

A Psalm of David.

[1] The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
[2] He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
[3] He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
for his name’s sake.

[4] 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.

[5] You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
[6] Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD
forever. (ESV)

 

The Message

1 God, my shepherd! I don’t need a thing.
2 You have bedded me down in lush meadows, you find me quiet pools to drink from.
3 True to your word, you let me catch my breath and send me in the right direction.
4 Even when the way goes through Death Valley, I’m not afraid when you walk at my side. Your trusty shepherd’s crook makes me feel secure
5 You serve me a six-course dinner right in front of my enemies. You revive my drooping head; my cup brims with blessing.
6 Your beauty and love chase after me every day of my life. I’m back home in the house of God for the rest of my life.