Lectio Divina, Divine Reading for Kids
Lectio Divina is a traditional Christian practice of biblical reading and meditation. It involves a slow and thoughtful reading of a passage, reflection, prayer, and contemplation.
It is important for children to engage in biblical reflection through Lectio Divina as it helps deepen their understanding of God. Lectio Divina also helps develop their spiritual growth, and foster their own personal relationship with scripture.
Additionally, it can help children learn how to apply biblical teachings and values to their own lives, and develop their sense of spirituality.
Read more about Lectio Divina here: Lectio Divina: What is Lectio Divina?
Benefits of Lectio Divina for Kids
Lectio Divina has numerous benefits for children, including promoting mindfulness, improving reading comprehension, and fostering spiritual growth. Engaging in biblical reflection through Lectio Divina can help children develop the habit of paying attention to the present moment and focusing on their thoughts. By reading and reflecting on Bible passages, children can also improve their reading comprehension skills and gain a deeper understanding of the text.
Furthermore, Lectio Divina can help children develop their spiritual lives by fostering a deeper relationship with God. Through this practice, children can learn to listen for God’s voice and to discern His will in their lives. Lectio Divina can also help children develop a sense of awe and wonder as they contemplate the mysteries of the Bible and the workings of God in their lives.
In addition to these benefits, Lectio Divina can help children develop empathy and compassion as they reflect on the experiences of the people in the Bible. By imagining themselves in the shoes of biblical characters and reflecting on their experiences, children can gain a greater appreciation for the struggles and triumphs of others. This can help them develop a deeper sense of empathy and compassion for those around them.
Overall, engaging in Lectio Divina can help children develop a deeper understanding of themselves, their faith, and the world around them. It can also help them develop important life skills such as mindfulness, empathy, and critical thinking.
How to Introduce Lectio Divina to Kids
- Explain the concept of “listening with the heart”: Start by explaining to your child that Lectio Divina is a way of listening to God’s word with their heart and not just their ears. Emphasize the importance of being quiet and still in order to hear God’s voice.
- Model the process yourself: Before introducing Lectio Divina to your child, practice it yourself so that you can model the process for them. You can do this by choosing a Bible passage, reading it several times, and then reflecting on it through the four steps of Lectio Divina.
- Choose a child-friendly Bible passage: Choose a short and simple Bible passage that is easy for your child to understand. You can start with stories that they are familiar with, such as the story of creation or the parables of Jesus.
- Use age-appropriate prompts: Depending on your child’s age, use age-appropriate prompts to guide their reflection on the passage. For younger children, you can ask simple questions like “What do you think this story is about?” or “What did you like about this story?” For older children, you can ask more reflective questions like “What do you think God is trying to tell us through this passage?” or “How can we apply this message to our daily lives?”
- Make it a regular practice: Encourage your child to make Lectio Divina a regular practice by setting aside a specific time each week for reflection. You can also make it a family activity by doing it together and sharing your reflections with each other.
Simple Steps for Engaging Kids in Lectio Divina
- Select a Bible passage: Choose a short passage from the Bible that is age-appropriate for your child. It could be a favorite story, a parable, or a verse that you want to focus on.
- Read the passage aloud: Sit with your child and read the passage aloud slowly, pausing between each sentence or verse. Encourage your child to listen carefully and try to picture the scene in their mind.
- Reflect on the passage: After reading, ask your child what stood out to them from the passage. Encourage them to share their thoughts and feelings. You can ask open-ended questions to prompt reflection, such as “What did you notice about this passage?” or “How do you think the characters felt in this story?”
- Respond through prayer or art: After reflecting on the passage, invite your child to respond through prayer or art. For younger children, you can guide them through a simple prayer based on the passage. For older children, you can encourage them to journal or draw their thoughts and feelings.
- Repeat the process: You can repeat this process with different passages or with the same passage over several days. Encourage your child to listen with their heart and be open to what the passage is saying to them.
By engaging in Lectio Divina with your child, you are not only helping them develop mindfulness and reading comprehension skills, but also fostering their spiritual growth and connection with God.
Adapting Lectio Divina for Different Age Groups
- Toddlers: Use picture books that tell simple Bible stories and ask open-ended questions to encourage discussion and reflection.
- Pre-schoolers: Read short passages from the Bible and use props or visuals to help bring the story to life. Encourage children to retell the story in their own words and ask simple questions to prompt reflection.
- Kindergarten: Use age-appropriate Bible storybooks that have pictures and simple text. After reading a story, ask children to reflect on how the story makes them feel or what they learned.
- Grades 1-3: Read longer Bible passages and encourage children to actively listen and engage with the text. Ask open-ended questions to prompt reflection, and encourage children to use art or drawing as a way to express their thoughts and feelings.
- Grades 4-7: Encourage children to read the Bible passage on their own and underline or highlight key words or phrases that stand out to them. Ask more in-depth questions to prompt reflection, and encourage children to write down their thoughts and feelings in a journal or notebook.
Examples of Lectio Divina Activities for Kids
- Prayer jar: Have children write down their prayers on small pieces of paper and place them in a jar. At the beginning of each Lectio Divina session, select a few prayers from the jar to reflect on and pray about.
- Nature scene reflection: Have children look at a picture of a nature scene and reflect on what they see. Ask them to think about what God might be trying to teach them through the beauty of creation.
- Scripture collage: Provide children with magazines and art supplies to create a collage that represents a Bible passage that they are reflecting on. Encourage them to think about the images and colors that come to mind as they read the passage.
- Creative writing: Have older children write a short story or poem inspired by a Bible passage that they have reflected on. This activity encourages deeper thinking about the passage and helps children develop their writing skills.
- Character study: Choose a character from the Bible and have children reflect on their experiences, strengths, and weaknesses. Ask them to think about what they can learn from this character’s story and how they can apply these lessons to their own lives.
- Group discussion: Encourage children to discuss their reflections with others. This can be done in small groups or as a larger group discussion. This activity helps children develop communication skills and learn from the perspectives of others.
- Art reflection: Provide children with art supplies and ask them to create a drawing or painting inspired by a Bible passage. Encourage them to think about the colors, shapes, and textures that come to mind as they reflect on the passage.
Practice Lectio Divina with Your Kids at Home or Church
Lectio Divina is an excellent spiritual practice for children that promotes mindfulness, improves reading comprehension, and fosters spiritual growth.
By engaging in this practice, children can learn to listen with their hearts and develop a deeper understanding of God’s word. It’s important to introduce Lectio Divina to children by explaining the concept of “listening with the heart” and modeling the process yourself.
More Resources on Lectio Divina for Children
- 20 Lectio Divina Passages for New Believers for new Christians looking for more passages for Lectio Divina
- 30 Lectio Divina Passages for Teenagers
- 35 Lectio Divina Passages from Life Stories of Jesus