Over 40 days ago, I embarked on an experiment and an adventure: to practice lectio divina during lent. Now it’s time to look back and see what I’ve learned:
- You may recall that I dislike the traditional quiet time. Lectio is fun.
- I am still a sloth when it comes to spiritual disciplines. I’m not doing lectio every day like I did at the start. But something is a lot better than nothing, and nothing was pretty much where I started.
- I have fallen in love with the Word again. I love the Story — how cool is that? I may not be “doing lectio” every day, but I open the Bible throughout the day. It dominates my bathroom reading.
- The Message is an awesome version. If you can let go of your desire for “word-for-word accuracy” and settle into the flow of the Story, it will come alive.
- When I first started, the insights seemed amazing, and I had plenty to post about. Now I find that, as Andrew Careaga observes, I have less to post about because what I get usually isn’t profound — you know, “basic” stuff like love one another. Lectio isn’t so much about discovering amazing new truths as much as it is about contemplating amazing old truths.
- The key to lectio is sitting quietly in the presence of God. Have you received Vineyard-style prayer ministry? Or were you ever prayed for in the Toronto Blessing days and had someone say, “Don’t pray, just receive”? All you have to do is get back there, into God’s presence. I have learned to “assume the position” of sitting with my hands in my lap, palms up, ready to receive. “Shut up and know that I am God.”
- Sitting in God’s presence makes it easy to pray for others. I find that if I jump into praying for people, I pretty much rattle through a list. That’s sort of the quiet time method — boring and dry. I feel like I have to come up with “the right words.” But after spending even a short time experiencing the nearness of God, intercessory prayer becomes easy. It flows. It’s not about words. It’s like what I pray with my kids really happens: “Holy Spirit, come and pray through me.”