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An old way to pray about today's challenges

How Lectio Divina can help us to use scripture to pray about challenging issues around the world.

Written by Tearfund | 07 Jan 2022

Image credit: Hazel Thompson/Tearfund

We are just into the new year, yet it can already feel overwhelming to look at the headlines in the news and think about how, as Christians, we should respond. One of the ways we can combat these feelings is to look to Christian spiritual practices that enable us to slow down and hear God’s voice, and to inspire us to take action. Practices such as Lectio Divina.

Lectio Divina (Holy Reading) is an ancient Bible-meditation practice (originating from the Hebraic tradition of the Shema), which involves listening with the heart. It allows us to focus on the text we are reading, to slow down and hear what God is wanting to say to us through the passage. It helps us hear specifically and individually from God through scripture, while being guided by the Holy Spirit.

So, let us begin.

Pray with us

  1. Find a still, silent space. Become aware of God’s presence.
  2. Begin by reading a piece of scripture a few times to familiarise yourself with it. For today, we recommend using Luke 4:18-28, but you can choose other Bible verses. This passage is about Jesus’ mission – and what it means for us today, as his followers.


    ‘The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.’


  3. Read the text again, this time notice a word or phrase that catches your attention.
  4. Meditate on this.
  5. Ask God to reveal why he chose to highlight this word or phrase.
  6. Do not rush away – rest in God’s presence.
  7. Take as much time you need and repeat point five as many times as you would like to.

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Written by  Tearfund

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