Introducing Lectio Divina - 24-7 Prayer International

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  • The Lectio Course
    The Lectio Course: Episode 1

    Introducing Lectio Divina

    How to Hear God chapters for this session:

    Chapter 1 (Hearing God’s word in Jesus)  

    A note for leaders:

    Welcome to The Lectio Course. This resource will equip you and your group to explore how to hear God through the ancient practice of Lectio Divina.  

    Each session of the course is designed to take around an hour and features:  

    • A teaching video with Pete Greig and a special interview guest

    • Discussion questions for groups

    • A practical activity to do together

    It can be tempting to linger on the questions or keep the discussion going, but we really recommend prioritising the practical activity; it will help you as a group to practise what’s being explored in each video session.  

    You might find that there are more discussion questions than you have time for: if that’s the case, choose the ones that feel most appropriate and helpful for your group context. 

    Hearing God is a concept that many Christians are familiar with, and others are brand new to. We recommend paying attention to the dynamic of your group and being aware of the varying levels of understanding and experience. Unfortunately, some people have negative experiences in this area too, and we recommend being sensitive and aware of this as you lead through the session.  

    We’d love to hear how you’re finding the course: please do share your experiences with us.   

    1. Intro: set the scene

    10 mins

    In this session, we’ll explore what Lectio Divina is, and how we can start to hear God’s voice through this ancient practice.  

    Intro questions 

    Describe a time God spoke to you. How did God do it? How did you know it was God?  

    Is there anything that worries you about hearing God? Have you ever experienced hearing God ‘wrong’, or been hurt by someone claiming to hear God say something?  

    Key Bible passage / verse 

    “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” – John 10:27 (NIV)  

    2. Watch the video

    15 mins

    Summary 

    • Lectio Divina is an approach to scripture that emphasises reading it prayerfully, slowly and with imagination. It’s about the heart more than the head  
    • The four steps of Lectio Divina are:  
      Read, Meditate, Pray, Contemplate  
    • The four steps are a helpful guide but not a fixed map you have to follow 

    “Lectio is the moment where I have a personal encounter with Christ. Guaranteed.”  – Sister Mary Magdalen 

    3. Discussion questions

    20 mins  

    Q. What did you find most helpful or most challenging in the video?  

    Q. Pete shared the story of HMV and Nipper the dog longing to hear his master’s voice. How different would your life be if you were constantly guided by God’s audible voice?  

    Q. What are your reflections on the four steps of Lectio Divina? Did anything surprise you or is there anything you’re curious to learn more about? 

    Q. How does your approach to Bible reading differ or fit with the concept of Lectio Divina?  

    Q. Sister Mary said that Lectio Divina is the moment she has a personal encounter with Christ. How would it change the way you read the Bible if you were guaranteed an encounter with Christ?  

    Q. What does the Bible as the “The revealed word of God” mean to you? How might it affect the way you approach scripture? 

    Q. What one thing will you do differently because of this session?  

    4.  Go deeper

    15 mins

    Practical prayer activity:

    Try reading the Bible prayerfully as a group, using the four steps of Lectio Divina to reflect on Jesus’ teaching about hearing God’s voice:  

    Read: John 10:22-30  

    How to do the Lectio Divina as a group:

    1. Read (Lectio): Read the passage out loud, reflecting on the passage as you read. 
    2. Meditate (Meditatio): Read the passage again, and encourage each member of the group to say out loud one word or phrase that jumped out to them (the same word or phrase can be repeated by different people).  
    3. Pray (Oratio): Read the passage again, and allow space for members of the group to pray out short prayers related to the themes, words or phrases of the passage.  
    4. Contemplate (Contemplatio): Read the passage a final time, and sit quietly to reflect individually. Each member of the group might like to ask themselves the question, “what’s the one thing from this passage I will take into my week?”
    This week 

    Practise Lectio Divina as you read the Bible. You might like to follow Sister Mary’s advice to start with a story from the gospels, paying close attention to what God might want to say to you.  

    Inspired by this podcast?

    More episodes in this series

    View series
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    Read: Hearing God in the Bible
    Episode 2
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    Meditate: Hearing the Holy Spirit in our thoughts
    Episode 3
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    Pray: Responding to God in prayer and prophecy
    Episode 4
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    Contemplate: Hearing God in the whole world
    Episode 5