Today I headed up to the ABCNJ office in an ice storm 1 for our scheduled team meeting. Most folks weren’t able to get out in the storm 2, so it left us with a smaller group for the meeting. But meeting we did!

Rather than a dull, “OK, let’s now listen to this report” meeting, however, our new Senior Regional Pastor led those in attendance in a group Lectio Divina, or “Divine Reading.” It was wonderful.

I typically hate prayer circles, as folks fall so easily into the “well I’ll pray better than that” trap. My experience of prayer circles any more is an extended blast of religious white noise, which sets my spirit on edge 3. Lectio Divina, however, depends on things which make my spirit calm down. To practice Lectio well, talking needs to be kept to a minimum, and taking time to allow ourselves to be ministered to by silence is essential 4. Lectio isn’t an attempt to exegete a scripture passage, it’s method of prayer meant to open us up to hearing God’s voice and call on our lives. It’s a simultaneous gentle and powerful personal encounter with God’s voice through Scripture – and when done well it anchors practitioners to be present where they are. It’s something I need more of, and something by which I am always refreshed.

  1. It was really more of a slush storm, and I take back roads so I wasn’t dodging marauding trucks on the main byways. The drive was mostly pleasant until I got right near the office. 
  2. It was worse the further north and east you went in the state. 
  3. This is why, when I lead a prayer meeting, I’ll often limit prayers to a single sentence. And even a single word on occasion. 
  4. Have you ever noticed how Americans tend to hate quiet? It’s killing our ability to practice introspection.