What Is Lectio Divina?

Comments Off on What Is Lectio Divina? Written on December 11th, 2012 by
Categories: Faculty, General, Students

Lectio Divina Chapels at Multnomah are, simply, times of focused and prayerful attention to short passages of scripture.  This is done in small groups of 4 to 6. The point is to slow down, to sit quietly, and to consider God’s Word, praying for insight and a willing spirit to hear and obey.  Repeated readings of the short passage and prayerful consideration of the text give students an opportunity for prolonged exposure to a passage of scripture, placing themselves under the authority of God’s Word and to consider God’s will for their lives that day.

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Professor Stan Campbell, Music Ministry Department Chair and Christian Ministries Division Chair recounts this year's chapel:

Here is an outline of a Lectio Divina chapel I led on November 1, 2012.

Welcome and Instructions to Students

  • Lectio Divina is a focused, attentive and prayerful reading of God’s Word.
  • Throughout God’s written revelation He constantly invites us to “listen to My words”.
  • Jesus said to the churches in Revelation, “He who has an ear, let Him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”
  • Because God wants to communicate with us, because God’s Word is the Living Word and we have the indwelling Holy Spirit as our teacher and guide, we ask God to help us listen with our hearts as well as with our ears.
  • To hear, we need to give God our undistracted, wholehearted attention to what He is saying to us.
  • And in our busy, noisy lives it’s often difficult to hear God’s voice.  So we pause in the middle of the morning, dedicating a 45 minute chapel, to quiet ourselves, think carefully and prayerfully about God’s Word – what it means and what He is saying to us – and to respond in obedience and walk in His ways.

Scripture Passage for the Day

Scriptures: Matthew 5:13-16

“You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.

“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lamp stand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.  Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.”

Opening Prayer

Asking God to speak and instruct us and to help us to listen.

First Reading

  1. Have one student in each group read the passage slowly.
  2. Look for the content and context.  What is the passage saying?
  3. Think about this passage in silence for one minute. While thinking, consider that although you may have read this passage many times before is there one particular word or phrase that stands out to you today?  A thought from the passage that is making a particular impression on you?
  4. Share your thoughts with the group.

Second Reading

  1. Have one student in each group read the passage again.
  2. Think and pray about this passage in silence for two minutes and consider what does the passage reveal about Jesus Christ, about His character, His work, and what He thought was important in the Kingdom of Heaven?
  3. After the time of silence, each person briefly share personal insights.

Third Reading

  1. Have another student in the group read Matthew 5:13-16 again slowly.
  2. In silence consider, how does this scripture touch your life? What is Jesus Christ, the Word, saying to you in His word?
  3. After the time of silence, each person briefly share personal insights.

Fourth Reading

  1. Someone else read Matthew 5:13-16 again slowly
  2. While thinking and praying about this passage in silence for two minutes, ask yourself, what do you think God want you to be, to do?  How does God invite you to change to be like Jesus?  How does God want you to live out His kingdom on this earth?
  3. After the time of silence, each person briefly share personal insights.


  1. One minute of silent prayer: pray for yourself to apply what God is saying to you.
  2. After silence, take turns praying aloud for the people in your group.

Dismissal Prayer

The above was submitted by Stan Campbell


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