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Lectio Divina: Praying the Scriptures


Isaiah 61:1-6a (NRSV)

The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me; he has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed, to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and release to the prisoners; to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn; to provide for those who mourn in Zion—to give them a garland instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the mantle of praise instead of a faint spirit. They will be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, to display his glory. They shall build up the ancient ruins, they shall raise up the former devastations; they shall repair the ruined cities, the devastations of many generations. Strangers shall stand and feed your flocks, foreigners shall till your land and dress your vines; but you shall be called priests of the Lord, you shall be named ministers of our God.

First Reading of Scripture – Listen for a word, image or concept which jumps out at you.

After a period of silence (2 minutes), you may share you “word” without commentary or discussion.

Second Reading of Scripture – Imagine yourself hearing these words spoken by the prophet to the people of Israel in exile, or hearing Jesus read these words as he began his ministry.

After a period of silence (5 minutes) you may briefly share your thoughts, feelings, or questions.

Third Reading of Scripture – Listen for how the Holy Spirit may be saying to you through the text about your ministry as one anointed by the Lord.

After a period of silence (5minutes), you may offer your own spoken prayers.

Time of contemplation in silence (15 minutes)

Time for further sharing on the text and your response, including prayer requests. (15 minutes)

Anointing each other for our ministries:

Pray for the person on your right and then anoint her with oil
as we all say: “(Name)… The Spirit of the Lord anoints you
and names you as a minister of our God.”

Note: This follows the process of LectioDivina outlined by Norvene Vest in Gathered in the Word: Praying the Scripture in Small Groups. Nashville: Upper Room Books, 1996. Prepared by Mary Jo Bowman for a Women’s Contemplative Prayer Group.

To Download a Word Document click here