21 Days of Prayer & Fasting

Day 6

Tokay, we enter into a spiritual discipline together. We “do” Lectio Divina together. The whole point of these 21 days of prayer and fasting is to enter into God’s presence together and tonight, so, today, we try something new (or old – it’s actually a really old practice)!!

Holy Reading of the Scriptures

Holy Reading of the Scriptures

First, you may want a refresher/primer on the way Lectio Divina is done. It is a form of prayer utilizing quiet space and Scripture. So, take a moment and go to a quiet space, or figure out how to close out all other things going on around you (it really does work best in a quiet space – you will be better able to engage in this exercise in the quiet). Playing instrumental soaking music along with this time is fine, too, but I invite you to do this exercise in the quiet first.

There are three phases to this exercise and it can be done in as little as 5 minutes or as long as…hours. We will read out loud through a passage of Scripture three times (beginners are encouraged to start with the Gospels or the Epistles/Letters – both can be found in the New Testament). In between each reading we will take quiet time to intentionally reflect on the passage.

  1. After the first reading, pause for 1-2 minutes to recall a word or passage that stood out for you or touched your heart in a special way. Write it down. Contemplate on this word/passage. Think about the feeling it has evoked in you. Has it given you a new insight or understanding? Write it down for deeper engagement.
  2. After the second reading, pause for 1-3 minutes Ask, “What significance does this word/passage/insight have for me?” Write down your thoughts for deeper engagement.
  3. After the third reading, pause for 1-3 minutes. Ask, “What does this word or new insight call me to be or do?” Contemplate this. Write your answer down for deeper engagement.

Ready? Here we go!

Our Scripture today is from the Letter to the Ephesians (it’s in the New Testament, written by the apostle Paul, after Jesus’ resurrection, to the Christians of Ephesus).
Ephesians 1:3-14 (NIV – I’ve posted the NIV here, but those of you who are new to reading Scripture, may appreciate the Message translation – you can find it Here )

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding, he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.

In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.

 

For your convenience, here is the process again:

  1. After the first reading, pause for 1-2 minutes to recall a word or passage that stood out for you or touched your heart in a special way. Write it down. Contemplate on this word/passage. Think about the feeling it has evoked in you. Has it given you a new insight or understanding? Write it down for deeper engagement.
  2. After the second reading, pause for 1-3 minutes Ask, “What significance does this word/passage/insight have for me?” Write down your thoughts for deeper engagement.
  3. After the third reading, pause for 1-3 minutes. Ask, “What does this word or new insight call me to be or do?” Contemplate this. Write your answer down for deeper engagement.

I invite you to share the word or phrase that stood out to you below, and if you’re willing, share the significance that this has for you as well!

Close your time in a prayer of thanksgiving to God for how He met you in your prayer time.