As we begin Fall, take some time with this Lectio Divina. Set this time apart to be with God, to encounter God, and to hear from God - in particular, through the Scriptures. As you follow these steps, do everything you can to fight the urge to study the passage - context, culture, other's thoughts on it, etc.
Simply, “be still and know”, listening for the “still, small voice” of God.
Lectio Divina Steps
Place yourself in a comfortable position and allow yourself to become silent – slow your breathing, calm your mind, and enjoy the silence for a few moments.
Begin to read the text slowly – pay particular attention to any word or phrase that might jump out at you as you read.
Take the word or phrase and focus on it. Repeat it to yourself and maybe even memorize it.
Speak to God using whatever means you like – write a poem, draw a picture, sit in silence listening, talk to God, or just do nothing. Experience God by using the word or phrase from your reading.
Rest in the silence and the reality that God is with you – that God has spoken to you, is speaking to you, and will speak to you.
Carry the word or phrase with you throughout the day (or the whole month) and allow it to transform the way you view yourself and others, and the way you interact with others in everything you do.
Following the passage of Scripture, you will find quotes and a closing prayer that are connected with the passage and the topic of God’s justice. These can be used to further your contemplation of the passage. When you are finished with your devotion time, we encourage you to use the prayer to set your mindset for the day, the week and the rest of the month. Also, we would love to hear how God is speaking to you.
Matthew 6: 5-15
And whenever you pray, do not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, so that they may be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. But whenever you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
When you are praying, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do; for they think that they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
Pray then in this way:
For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you; but if you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
“The function of prayer is not to influence God, but rather to change the nature of the one who prays.” Soren Kierkegaard
“Prayer is not asking. It is a longing of the soul. It is daily admission of one's weakness. It is better in prayer to have a heart without words than words without a heart.” Mahatma Gandhi
“Humility is the way for us to open communication with the merciful God of heaven. It is far better to pray in a private “room,” be unseen by man, and have the approval of God than to give a public display of prayer and have a heart full of pride." Unknown
“In prayer we shift the center of living from self-consciousness to self-surrender” Abraham Joshua Heschel
"The fruit of silence is prayer. The fruit of prayer is faith. The fruit of faith is love. The fruit of love is service. The fruit of service is peace." Mother Teresa