This ancient form of prayer, sometimes called “Lectio Divina” or “Sacred Reading”, has been practised by Benedictine monks for almost fifteen hundred years.
It begins with a time of relaxation, where you make yourself comfortable and attempt to clear your mind of mundane thoughts or cares. Some Christians find it helpful to focus upon their breathing for a few moments. Others have a simple prayer word or phrase that they gently recite in order to quieten their mind.
Once you begin, there are four phases of prayer which you can move between freely as the Holy Spirit guides:
Read the Bible passage gently and slowly several times. Imagine it as a long awaited love letter. Savour each verse or portion. Listen for the “still small voice” that speaks to you through a word or phrase.
Think about the word or phrase for a few minutes. Let it sink in slowly and deeply. Try to identify what it might be saying to you at this moment in your life, what it might be offering to you, what it might be demanding of you.
When you feel ready, openly and honestly share with God the thoughts that have arisen during your time of reflection. This may lead you into a time of thanksgiving, petition, intercession, lament or praise.
Allow yourself to rest quietly with God.