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Holy Reading

There is a wonderful way of engaging God that is called Holy Reading, or, Lectio Divina. This is a spiritual practice bringing together the power of God’s Word, meditation, and prayer, with resting in the Lord.

We see David’s devotion to Scripture as he praises it for being perfect, trustworthy, right, pure, enlightening, making wise the simple, rejoicing the heart, and sweeter than honey (Psalm 19:7-10). David valued the importance of meditating on God’s Word day and night for experiencing the fullness of God’s blessing and genuine success. David expressed reliance on meditation and prayer in seeking the Lord’s guidance, praising Him, and expressing the full range of emotions (Psalm 17:1; 55:17; 86:6-7; 145:18).

People of God through the centuries have practiced Holy Reading, uniting God’s Word, meditation and prayer, with resting in the Lord. Holy Reading is done through the following four steps, READ, REFLECT, RESPOND, REST:

READ a short portion of God’s Word slowly and prayerfully, three or four times. As you read listen for God to speak to you, as His Word is “living and active” (Hebrews 4:12). Pay close attention to a word or phrase that stands out to you, or especially speaks to you.

REFLECT on what you have read, zeroing in on that word or phrase that stirred you. Meditate on that word or phrase, picture the images, letting them sink in. This step has been compared to a cow chewing its cud. Take time to allow God’s Word to speak into your life.

RESPOND in prayer to God speaking to you in His Word. Talk with Him about feelings, thoughts, and questions stirring in you as you read and reflect on His Word. This makes for real dialogue with God as you listen to and also talk to Him.

REST in God’s presence for a few moments. Take time to be still and know that He is God! This dimension of rest is often overlooked in times we spend with God. There is no need for any words, any effort, or any trying to please. This has been called “Lap Time with God” as you simply let yourself be with God and loved by Him!

You might start Holy Reading by taking Psalm 23,
the beautiful Shepherd Psalm,
and working through it with the four steps of

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