Learn and Practice “Lectio Divina,” Divine Reading
A deeply intimate method of studying—and praying—the scriptures is Lectio Divina. There are four actions/steps: Lectio (Reading), Meditatio (Meditate), Oratorio (Pray), Contemplatio (Contemplate), but if your Latin is—like mine—non-existent, it may be easier to remember the Four Rs: Read, Reflect, Respond, and Rest. Spend at least five minutes on each step.
1) Read the passage several times, taking note of any words or phrases that stand out for you—repeat the word or phrase aloud. You may want to listen using an audio file (Google your passage/translation). Don’t force it—it may take a while to quiet your soul.
2) Reflect: You may want to journal the thoughts you have concerning your passage; consider why God brought the word or phrase to the forefront as you read or listened.
3) Respond: Pray silently or aloud, asking God to lead you deeper into the passage. Ask God to guide you into living what has been revealed to you.
4) Rest: Spend at least five minutes sitting quietly with God. If you find your mind wandering, try to refocus on God’s presence.
Don’t give up on this method of scriptural inquiry; with a bit of practice you will find it to be a great way to feel closer to God.