LECTIO DIVINA | Prayerful Reading of Scripture
Ref. Sacred Companions by David G. Benner
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).
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.
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.
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.
1 I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. 2 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. 3 Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. 4 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. 5 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. 6 If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers;
and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. 7 If you abide in me, and
my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 By this my
Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. 9 As the
Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. 10 If you keep my
commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s
commandments and abide in his love. 11 These things I have spoken to you, that my joy
may be in you, and that your joy may be full.
I am the Real Vine and my Father is the Farmer. He cuts off every branch of me that
doesn’t bear grapes. And every branch that is grape-bearing he prunes back so it will
bear even more. You are already pruned back by the message I have spoken.
Live in me. Make your home in me just as I do in you. In the same way that a branch
can’t bear grapes by itself but only by being joined to the vine, you can’t bear fruit
unless you are joined with me.
I am the Vine, you are the branches. When you’re joined with me and I with you, the
relation intimate and organic, the harvest is sure to be abundant. Separated, you can’t
produce a thing. Anyone who separates from me is deadwood, gathered up and
thrown on the bonfire. But if you make yourselves at home with me and my words
are at home in you, you can be sure that whatever you ask will be listened to and
acted upon. This is how my Father shows who he is—when you produce grapes,
when you mature as my disciples.
I’ve loved you the way my Father has loved me. Make yourselves at home in my
love. If you keep my commands, you’ll remain intimately at home in my love. That’s
what I’ve done—kept my Father’s commands and made myself at home in his love.
I’ve told you these things for a purpose: that my joy might be your joy, and your joy