Praying with Scripture:
There is a centuries-old practice called lectio divina ( Latin for “sacred reading”) intended to assist a person growing in relationship with God. Although we have the monastics to thank for preserving this prayer tradition, it is a simple and flexible practice that anyone can do.
To prepare: select a short Bible passage (just a few verses) and a quiet time and place. It will “work” with whatever time you have for it.
To pray: read your chosen passage slowly, and out loud if possible. Speaking and reading actually activate different parts of your brain! Is there a word, phrase or sentence that grabs your attention? Let your attention rest there, and “sit with it” quietly. You could hold it in silence, reread the passage, or proceed to think about whatever arrested your attention. It might recall a memory, stir an emotion, kindle your imagination, or provoke you to “argue” with it. Whatever it is, engage with it. Let any feelings that arise be felt and expressed. This may lead you to something that becomes a prayer in itself – something to pray aloud or in the silence of your heart. Then just let go of the thoughts and feelings and “rest in God’s love.”
Bourgeault, Cynthia. The Wisdom Way of Knowing: Reclaiming an Ancient Tradition to Awaken the Heart. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2003.
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