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Discussion Forum : Revivals And Church History :  "What is Lectio Divina?"

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  "What is Lectio Divina?"


Some have been coming hard against this practice of prayer that has been practiced since the 2nd century of the church and passed on alot through the catholic system. There is a wrong side to this type of praying but I feel also to dismiss it totally is to throw the baby out with the bathwater and therefore allow no prompting of the spirit or speaking of God through His scriptures back to us.


Lectio Divina is Latin for "divine reading," "spiritual reading," or "holy reading" and represents a method of prayer and scriptural reading intended to promote communion with God and to provide special spiritual insights. The principles of lectio divina were expressed around the year A.D. 220 and practiced by Catholic monks, especially the monastic rules of Sts. Pachomius, Augustine, Basil, and Benedict.


Lectio - Reading the Bible passage gently and slowly several times. The passage itself is not as important as the savoring of each portion of the reading, constantly listening for the "still, small voice" of a word or phrase that somehow speaks to the practitioner.

Meditatio - Reflecting on the text of the passage and thinking about how it applies to one's own life. This is considered to be a very personal reading of the Scripture and very personal application.

Oratio – Responding to the passage by opening the heart to God. This is not primarily an intellectual exercise, but is thought to be more of the beginning of a conversation with God.

Contemplatio - Listening to God. This is a freeing of oneself from one's own thoughts, both mundane and holy, and hearing God talk to us. Opening the mind, heart, and soul to the influence of God.



I would say the problem comes in with the Comtemplation side of things. It is healthy to quiet ourself before the Lord to hear His heart and voice but to empty the mind and think of "nothing" can be dangerous. even to think of one repeated phrase over and over. But we must not be scared to quiet ourselves and contemplate God or we are missing a great jewel of Christian discipline called: "Waiting on the Lord".





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SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2012/2/16 14:27Profile
ThyKingCome
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 Re: "What is Lectio Divina?"

Thank you dear brother for posting on this. I have only heard of this type of praying recently and am not sure what to think about it. Does this connect in any way to contemplative prayer?

I know that some well respected Bible teachers would promote Lectio Divina as well as Contemplative Prayer, but it seems to cause quite a bit of stir in Christian circles. I really don't know much about them at all and am hoping to learn more about them so I can make a scriptural stance.

Can you please share any insight/warnings that you may have brother?

Blessings to you and your family.


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Brother Kevin

 2012/2/16 17:02Profile
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 Re:

As I stated above:

--

I would say the problem comes in with the Comtemplation side of things. It is healthy to quiet ourself before the Lord to hear His heart and voice but to empty the mind and think of "nothing" can be dangerous. even to think of one repeated phrase over and over. But we must not be scared to quiet ourselves and contemplate God or we are missing a great jewel of Christian discipline called: "Waiting on the Lord".

---

Contemplative prayer is not biblical, but waiting on the Lord is. Oh that Gods people who still themselves more in Gods presence and wait on Him. Not emptying our minds but being attune to the leading of God's Spirit.

The Church is losing much because of the lose of this biblical discipline that has been practiced the Church for many years.

The desert Fathers left the Institutional Christendom of their day to seek God for God alone. It would be wonderful to see such a movement of brothers and sisters again doing this for the Lord's sake alone.


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SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2012/2/16 17:48Profile
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 Re:

While I myself have never tried the Lectio Divina type of meditation, I have a dear friend who does it regularly. This man has been an IMB missionary for almost 10 years and he teaches this method to his children as well. He says it has benefited them well, and that he will continue to use this method of meditation.

 2012/2/16 20:23Profile
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To be clear here I am not endorsing fully this doctrine fully but I am trying to state that parts of it are fine and biblical and we must be willing to slowly read the word and meditate on its truths.

The catholic church catechism states:

"Contemplative prayer is silence, the "symbol of the world to come" or "silent love." Words in this kind of prayer are not speeches; they are like kindling that feeds the fire of love. In this silence, unbearable to the "outer" man, the Father speaks to us his incarnate Word, who suffered, died, and rose; in this silence the Spirit of adoption enables us to share in the prayer of Jesus."


--

Obviously this is not right and in our quiet contemplation we need to fill our minds with the truths of the word of God we just read and be quietly asking the Lord about these things. A religious quietness that just waits for some spiritual experience is false and not biblical. We need to use our wills to engage God in prayer and our minds and spirits.


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SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2012/2/16 20:31Profile
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 Re:

Great. Thank you.


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Michelle

 2012/2/16 20:55Profile
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 Re:

greg i thought this type of prayer was the norm
apart from the contemplative part ,,,,but saying that

i myself have found that empying my mind of fleshy dsetractions and trying to hold in my mind afections derived from emotions wrought by the spirit as a powerfull way to comune with gods spirit

somtimes i begine that fase of praying by delibertly focasing on nothing but an invisable image ,of the invisable god ,,,and call and yern for more of him

asking for a contrite and broken spirit pleading for this

and then medatating ,within that holy afection , wile giving thanks ,and asking for more ,with a combinataion intersesion for other ,and flukuating, toward exercicing the gift of faith ,and believing in gods promises of deeper spiritual comunion for the near ,and not so near future ,,and also reciting certant scripture spontainiously

somtimes i cant seem to setle my fleshy distractive ,impulses ,with normal prayer

so this is why i tend , to empty my mind ,, but it never stays empty for long , for me that would be a great sin ,and would be comformity , to estern and some catholic medatation , from what i understand

for me it is my pityfull atempt , to crusafie the flesh and its passions and distractions ,in prayfull repentance ,,a turning away from thoughts that are not spiritual,

im open for constuctive critasism ,regarding this ,and other ways control and comform my mind to ward heavenly things

bless you

 2012/2/17 2:32Profile





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