Thursday, 7 August 2008

LECTIO DIVINA

The other day I came across an ancient Christian practice called "Lectio Divina" or "spiritual Reading", as it is sometimes referred to as.

Lectio Divina is described as "the slow, contemplative praying of the Scriptures which enables the Bible, the Word of God, to become a means of union with God"

To embrace the process of Lectio Divina, is to "give room" in our busy lives and "create a rhythm" whereby we can flow in the discovery of the "ability" and the "how to" of offering ourselves and "enhancing our relationship with" God through his word - the reading, speaking and hearing of it.

For the word of God to have meaning, impact and manifestation in our lives, we can take a leaf out of this ancient practice of the early church - Lectio Divina.

The process of Lectio Divina involves the following:

  • Reading / Listening
  • Thinking / Meditating
  • Praying
  • Living

Reading / Listening the word
Deuteronomy 11: 18 - 20 reads 18 “Therefore you shall lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul, and bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 19 You shall teach them to your children, speaking of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. 20 And you shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates..."

How do we lay up the words of God in our heart and soul? This is by reading, not once, twice but constantly.

Also, God constantly speaks to us, thus, we should learn to recognise and listen to his voice. In
1 Kings 19:12, We see an example of God speaking and Elijah listening. It reads " 12And after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire [a sound of gentle stillness and] a still, small voice." This was the revelation of Elijah (It is important to read the whole chapter for completeness).


Thinking / Meditating the Word
After reading and listening to the word of God, the next step is to think about it. To meditate on it. Not just muse over what has been read, but to really, really, think about it. It sounds easy doesn't it? But in today's busy world, it's so easy to let our minds wander over verses, chapters and books, rather than simply focusing on their contents; what is God saying? How does this apply to me? What do I have to do about what I've read? What is God going to do?..... and much more.


It's like going on a sight-seeing holiday. You get to a beauty spot, to view some of the world's most beautiful landscapes, from the top of a hill. Most will take a fleeting glance and say "well that was beautiful, next sight please", but some will place a mat on that hill, sit down and "take in" the whole scenery, the landscape - where the hills stopped and where the valley began, the types of trees, animals, the feel in the air and all of that. Now, imagine that...same scenery, different experiences.

We can take an example from the Psalmist David in Psalm 119: 15, which reads "I will meditate on Your precepts, And contemplate Your ways."


Praying the word
After reading, listening, thinking and meditating on God's word, the next natural thing I believe, would be to have conversations with God about this word.

Imagine the start of your day, you wake up in the morning, have devotional time, and you read a passage in the bible that
strikes a cord in your heart. You get ready for work - thinking about this passage, on you way to work - you are thinking about this passage, whilst at work - you are thinking about this passage. There will come a point during your day that you will voice up and say something like "right God, this is really bugging me, what does this passage mean, what are you trying to tell or explain to me here" Hands up, those of us who have been there!

That "bugging" feeling is the conversation starter with God about his word. Going through all the points above leads us to have conversations with God. It leads us to pray about his word, and the prayer that results from this is not usually the normal "prayer list" of "I want", No. It could be prayers about what his word is simply saying about him, or about the country or city we live in.


Living the word
Finally, we have read, listened to, thought about and prayed the word, now we have to emulate it! Ah, this is the hardest part of the process. We should not only be readers, hearers, thinkers or prayers of the word, but also doers of the word as we are encouraged in James 1:22-25, which reads: 22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; 24 for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. 25 But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.

Furthermore, John 15: 7 "If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you"

I believe for us to abide in God always, means to make the intricacies of his word a daily part of our reality; for our lives to represent its full meaning.

Here is me wishing you an awesome time in the constant presence of the Lord, whilst living out your today, not forgetting to make him famous along the way.


Much Love
Remi Banjo
***Pictures by Photobucket***

6 Comments:

Jaycee said...

First.

"...but some will place a mat on that hill, sit down and "take in" the whole scenery, the landscape - where he hills stopped and where the valley began, the types of trees, animals, the feel in the air and all of that..." This is how passionate we must feel about the Word...willing to sit down and take in the word in its entire beauty...(loved that description).

My prayer this morning was "Lord, let me not only be a hearer of Your word, but also a doer..." That's a very important prayer to me. I don't want to keep talking about the magnificence of His word, and then be a cast-away myself. So God, please continue to help me...(Amen).

Believer said...

Thanks for this post. I think for me it's really taking the time to meditate on what the word is saying. Constantly rehearsing it until it becomes a part of me. Sometimes, I'm so in a hurry to reach my 'target' that I lose sight of the message! Now, even if it's one verse, I want to squeeze out all the Lord has for me!
We're really blessed to have you in Blogville.

Afronuts said...

Lectio Divina...hmmm
Ive learned something today. I've even been practicing it b4 I knew the name.

Thanks so much for sharing.

Ayo Olatunji said...

wow....
Remi how talented are you! Not read your posts thoroughly for a couple of weeks now but am catching up on them now.
My own is to put into practice the word: Reading it...no problem: meditate i can just about manage: i do AIM to put it into practice, but by next day when my bible has closed and i have moved onto another scripture, then its all forgotten!

well...that will be my prayer from now going on.
thanks

Remi, United Kingdom said...

@Jaycee, yup to be still and experience the creativity and awesomeness of God in reality and through his words is sometimes all it takes for us to understand our purpose and where we need to go in life. I'm in between jobs and I am so learning that right now! And Amen to your prayer, I pray the same thing as well ...Amen...God let us be action figures of faith and not just listeners ... Amen..

@believer - awe thanks believer... yes oh.. I'm learning daily to sit down and be calm when reading or listening to the word of God and then when I do, to meditate, or as my ma will say "chew" on the word and then digest it! lol... thanks x

@afronuts, thanks for visiting, and are very much welcome.

@Ayo... awe thanks ever so much..I thank the holy spirit for continuous wisdom... yup.. I am trying to do the same thing as well. I remember before I will read and then close.. I will be like I have finished my quota reading for today! lol.... Thank God for his patience. I say Holy spirit, tie me to the sit, pinch my ears if need be, but let me read, listen and meditate on your word no matter what... Hope u're good. x

Mary@notbefore7 said...

Lectio Divina...beautiful lesson! I find that it is so true when we sit and "breathe in His Word", it restores life to our soul. We truly "feel" it and know that He is present.

Thanks for coming by! You have wonderful encouragement and lessons on your blog!