The “Love Verses” practice is similar to the ancient practice of Lectio Divina. “Lectio Divina”, a Latin term, means “divine reading” and describes a way of reading the Scriptures whereby we gradually let go of our own agenda and open ourselves to what God wants to say to us. It is often specifically practiced as an unhurried, contemplative reading of a portion of Scripture, and it can give us a great framework for experiencing God through Scripture, meditation, prayer, and contemplation.
There are various ways of practicing Lectio Divina either individually or in groups, but the following process is most common:
1. Lectio (read) is where we repeatedly read the Word of God, slowly and reflectively with a “listening heart,” inviting God to speak to us through it and listening for a word or phrase that draws our attention. Any passage of Scripture can be used for this way of prayer but the passage should not be too long.
2. Meditatio (mediation) is a time of quiet reflection in God’s presence where we focus our affection and attention on God, quietly ruminating upon the words he’s led us to in Scripture and slowly chew on them. We interact with them, invite them to shed light on our thoughts and experiences, and permit God to connect these truths to our lives.
3. Oratio (prayer) is how we respond to God about what he has revealed to us through Scripture. Here we leave our thinking aside and simply let our hearts speak to God. We’re inviting Christ into the places he’s exposed or the moments he’s taken us back to so that he might heal us and set us free (Luke 4:18).
4. Contemplatio (contemplation) is where we let go of our own ideas, plans and meditations. We simply rest in the Word of God, entrusting ourselves to him as we reflect again on what he has spoken to us. We listen at the deepest level of our being to God who speaks within us with a still small voice. As we listen, we are gradually transformed from within, having impact on the way we actually live and take what we read in the Word of God into our daily lives.
In practicing regular times of Lectio Divina, we not only allow the Holy Spirit to remind us of who we are and what our mission is; we also grow in intimacy with God. As this intimacy deepens, we become more like Christ.
We are praying for you today as you move closer and closer to the person of Christ.
If you are interested in learning more about how you can bring a First Love Ministry event to your church please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org