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.
Psalm 139:1-12; 23-24
Search Me, O God, and Know My Heart
To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David.
 O LORD, you have searched me and known me!
 You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
you discern my thoughts from afar.
 You search out my path and my lying down
and are acquainted with all my ways.
 Even before a word is on my tongue,
behold, O LORD, you know it altogether.
 You hem me in, behind and before,
and lay your hand upon me.
 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
it is high; I cannot attain it.
 Where shall I go from your Spirit?
Or where shall I flee from your presence?
 If I ascend to heaven, you are there!
If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!
 If I take the wings of the morning
and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
 even there your hand shall lead me,
and your right hand shall hold me.
 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 with you.
 Search me, O God, and know my heart!
Try me and know my thoughts!
 And see if there be any grievous way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting!
1 God, investigate my life; get all the facts firsthand. 2 I’m an open book to you; even from a distance, you know what I’m thinking. 3 You know when I leave and when I get back; I’m never out of your sight. 4 You know everything I’m going to say before I start the first sentence. 5 I look behind me and you’re there, then up ahead and you’re there, too – your reassuring presence, coming and going. 6 This is too much, too wonderful – I can’t take it all in! 7 Is there anyplace I can go to avoid your Spirit? to be out of your sight? 8 If I climb to the sky, you’re there! If I go underground, you’re there! 9 If I flew on morning’s wings to the far western horizon, 10 You’d find me in a minute – you’re already there waiting! 11 Then I said to myself, “Oh, he even sees me in the dark! At night I’m immersed in the light!” 12 It’s a fact: darkness isn’t dark to you; night and day, darkness and light, they’re all the same to you.
23 Investigate my life, O God, find out everything about me; Cross-examine and test me, get a clear picture of what I’m about; 24 See for yourself whether I’ve done anything wrong – then guide me on the road to eternal life.