Spiritual Disciplines for Social Distancing: Lectio Divina

Updated: Mar 31

Hello All!

Pastor Anna here. As you know, we’ve had to do things a little differently here at HUMM over the past couple of weeks. We’ve had to get creative with the ways we worship and with the ways that we connect with one another in this time of social distancing. Now, we’re going to get creative about how we pray and practice our faith in our sermon series “Spiritual Disciplines for Social Distancing.” During this series, I’ll be sharing some of my own favorite prayer practices and devotions; my hope is that you will find peace and comfort in them in the days ahead.


Love in Christ,







Lectio Divina (“Divine Reading”)


What Is It?

Lectio Divina is an ancient form of meditation dating back to early monastic communities; monks and nuns still do this daily. It is a method for praying with the Scriptures.


Why Should I Try It?

  • Builds familiarity with the Bible

  • Engages the mind/imagination

  • Provides a point of focus; helps prevent distraction


How Do I Do It?

Lectio Divina follows four steps:

  1. Lectio (Reading)

  2. Meditatio (Meditation)

  3. Contemplatio (Contemplation)

  4. Oratio (Prayer)


Step 1: Lectio

  • Read or listen to a short passage from Scripture (if you need help finding a passage, I suggest starting with the Psalms, or a favorite Gospel story).

  • Find a single word or phrase that resonates with you


Step 2: Meditatio

  • Think about what was read/heard

  • Repeat it in your mind, ruminate, reflect


Step 3: Complatio

  • Ask yourself questions, such as

  • What can I learn from this?

  • What is this telling me about God/myself/others?

  • What insights does this have for my life?

Step 4: Oratio

  • Respond to God based on what you have read

  • Can be through words, images, even silence: there is no wrong way!

  • Remember that you are loved by God

  • Ask for guidance and grace to go back into the world mindful of God’s presence


Your Turn

Try Lectio Divina for yourself! Here are some passages to start with:


John 12:3-7

3 Mary took a pound of costly perfume made of pure nard, anointed Jesus’ feet, and wiped them with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. 4 But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (the one who was about to betray him), said, 5 “Why was this perfume not sold for three hundred denarii[b] and the money given to the poor?” 6 (He said this not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief; he kept the common purse and used to steal what was put into it.) 7 Jesus said, “Leave her alone. She bought it so that she might keep it for the day of my burial.


Psalm 86:11-13

11 Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart to revere your name.

12 I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart, and I will glorify your name forever.

13 For great is your steadfast love toward me; you have delivered my soul from the depths of Sheol.







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Helena United Methodist Ministries

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