Lectio Divina

Lectio Divina

Theme
General
Age Range
14+
Type
Prayers
Number of Participants
4+
Timescale
30-60 minutes

Quick overview:

Latin for Sacred Reading, this form of prayer helps us to engage with scripture and is one of the oldest forms of prayer.

Supplies you’ll need:

  • Bibles – enough for one each
  • Sheets on how to do Lectio Divina (Click here)

Preparation:

This works best in smaller groups of 5-10, so try to split the group accordingly. Choose a suitable bible passage; spend some time praying about which one to choose. It’s highly advised you pray though the scripture yourself before you lead it.

Leading the activity:

Have your group sit in a circle. Explain that its ok if you’ve never prayed/read scripture/thought about God before now. No matter what we (I) believe, God wants to meet us where we are and speak to us. That can sound weird though. Have you ever heard someone say “I was praying and God said _______?” What do you think that means? How do you think God communicates with us? One way is through scripture (read Hebrews 4:12). A great way to hear God’s voice in scripture is through a type of prayer called Lectio Divina, the prayer we are going to be doing today.

Hand out sheets and Bibles and explain steps. Explain that we are going to read the passage 4 times and that you are going to ask them to think about something different each time. Explain that you will remind them at each stage but so they know what is coming you will also explain now.

Step 1 – Lectio: Read the passage slowly. Ask the young people to think of a word or phrase that stands out to them. They don’t have to know why, just which one has struck them and then leave some time for quiet. Then, starting with you, go around the circle with everyone sharing their word. There is no right or wrong answer!

Step 2 – Meditatio: This time ask the young people to imagine themselves in the story, either as one of the characters or seeing it from the outside. Ask them to imagine what it looked like, smelt like, felt like. As you read the story ask them to think about how they feel, and how they react to what is going on in the story. Read the passage and leave time for quiet. Then, starting with you, go around the circle with everyone sharing who they were and what stood out to them this time around. Again, no right or wrong answer!

Step 3 – Oratio: This time, ask the young people to think about what God might be trying to say to them in this passage. This time, after you read the passage leave a slightly longer time for quiet. We will not be sharing after this time but instead turning our thought into a prayer towards God. Ask the young people to talk to God in the hearts about what this passage means and what God is saying to them through it.

Step 4 – Contemplatio: This time, after read the passage spend some time pondering what God has been saying, and what you think you need to take away from this prayer time. After some time of quiet, starting with you, go around the circle with everyone sharing a sentence of what they are taking away from this prayer time.

Finish with a Glory Be and a sign of the Cross.

Ask the young people what they thought of the prayer time. Highlight how God has spoken to them all individually in that time; that although we sat with the same scripture passage, we have all taken something unique form it.