Joy in God’s Word: Lectio Divina

If you're looking for an ancient-new way to read Scripture and hear God's voice try lectio divina.

Meditation. Prayer. God’s Word.

These are the elements of Lectio Divina, an ancient way to study the Bible.

It sounds very mysterious, but is actually a simple way to hear God’s voice in Scripture.

I have used Lectio Divina before, but recently learned a slightly different way to use this method. Today I’m sharing these steps that have helped me connect with God’s voice in a new way.

To begin, choose a short passage of Scripture (six to eight verses). It can be a part of your regular reading plan or a passage you choose specifically for this purpose.

Preparation (Silencio): Before you read, take a moment to close your eyes and become aware of God’s presence with you. Let God know you are willing to hear from Him.

Read (Lectio): Slowly read the passage you have chosen, pausing between phrases and sentences. Ask God to show you which word or phrase He is speaking to your heart today. Repeat that word or phrase softly, pondering it as a special message from One who loves you.

Reflect (Meditatio): Read the passage again while asking yourself: What in my life needs that specific word or phrase right now? Think about how that word impacts your life.

Respond (Oratio): Read the passage one more time, listening for your heart’s response. What emotions bubble up when you read that word: love, joy, sorrow, grief, conviction? Be totally honest with yourself and God.

Rest (Contemplatio): Take time to rest in God’s love for you and the words He has spoken. This is a time of surrender and rest in God’s loving hands.

Resolve (Incarnatio): This step means to incarnate–live out–the Word of God. Write down the word or phrase given to you or think of an image of the word that you can carry with you throughout the day. In quiet moments, bring back the word or image and continue to ask God what significance that word has for you. Thank Him for speaking to you through His Word.

What was new for me in this version of Lectio Divina was the listening for a specific word. I found this completely fascinating because each time I did this, the word that leaped off the page into my heart was never the one I expected. And yet it was the one that I most needed. Through that word God spoke to my deepest needs, even though before I read the passage, I might not have noticed that was my deepest need.

I pray that you will take a few minutes to try this simple method of finding joy in God’s Word.

Question: Try Lectio Divina today. Please share the passage you read and the word God gave you.



  1. Sharla, I love Lectio Divina and have led it for several years in a small group at church. I use four steps. My final combines the last several of yours. Thanks for sharing your insight here. I’m going to pass this link along to my study members.

    • Sondra, so glad you have led others through Lectio Divina. I think it is a wonderful way to meditate on Scripture and connect with God!


  1. […] Divina means Divine Reading and is an ancient way to study God’s Word. I shared about the details of the method a couple of days ago, but I thought it might be helpful to see an example of the method. Take a few […]