Lectio Divina Examples: Steps for Contemplative Bible Reading

As Christians, we know that reading the Bible is essential for Christian living. It’s how we learn about God’s character, His plan for our lives, and the depth of His love for us. But sometimes, simply reading the words on the page isn’t enough. We need to go deeper, to engage with the text on a more personal level. That’s where Lectio Divina comes in, and there are 4, 5, and 7 steps to follow to practice this contemplative scripture reading.

Lectio Divina has a list of steps to follow. These 4, 5, 7 step examples will help you practice this spiritual contemplative bible reading.

Lectio Divina is an ancient Christian practice of contemplative Bible reading and praying. It’s a way of engaging with Scripture that goes beyond simply reading the words on the page. Instead, it’s a process of slowing down, meditating on the text, and listening for God’s voice. By practicing Lectio Divina, we can deepen our understanding of God’s Word and draw closer to Him.


If you’re a beginner to Lectio Divina, read this post: What is Lectio Divina?

So, why should we dive deeper into contemplative Bible reading? For one, it can help us better understand Scripture. When we slow down and meditate on the text, we’re able to see it in a new light. We might notice details we hadn’t before or find new applications for the text in our lives.

Additionally, contemplative Bible reading can be a powerful way to connect with God. By listening to His voice, we open ourselves up to His guidance and wisdom. We might find comfort, peace, or direction in the text that we wouldn’t have found otherwise.

Now that we understand why contemplative Bible reading is important, let’s dive into the steps of Lectio Divina.

4 Steps of Lectio Divina

Lectio Divina has a list of steps to follow. These 4, 5, 7 step examples will help you practice this spiritual contemplative bible reading.

The 4 steps of Lectio Divina are as follows:

  1. Read (Lectio): Choose a passage of Scripture and read it slowly and attentively, allowing the words to sink in.
  2. Meditate (Meditatio): Reflect on the words you just read and allow them to speak to your heart. Ask yourself questions like, “What is God saying to me through this passage?” or “How does this apply to my life right now?”
  3. Pray (Oratio): Respond to God’s Word by offering your thoughts and feelings to Him. Pray for insight or guidance, or simply express your gratitude and praise.
  4. Contemplate (Contemplatio): Rest in the presence of God and listen for His voice. Sit in silence, feeling God’s peace and love, or sense a specific message or guidance.

5 Steps of Lectio Divina

Lectio Divina has a list of steps to follow. These 4, 5, 7 step examples will help you practice this spiritual contemplative bible reading.

The 5 steps of Lectio Divina are similar to the 4 steps, but with an added step of “actio,” or action. Here are the steps:

  1. Reading (Lectio): Start by reading a short passage of Scripture slowly and attentively, allowing the words to sink in.
  2. Reflecting (Meditatio): Take a few moments to reflect on the passage and consider what it might be saying to you personally. What stands out to you? What emotions or thoughts come up?
  3. Responding (Oratio): Respond to what you’ve read by speaking to God in prayer. Share with Him what you’ve reflected on and ask for His guidance and wisdom.
  4. Resting (Contemplatio): Take some time to simply rest in God’s presence, letting go of any thoughts or distractions and allowing Him to speak to you in the silence.
  5. Resolving (Actio): Consider how you can apply what you’ve learned or heard to your life. Is there a specific action or change that you feel called to make?

7 Steps of Lectio Divina

Lectio Divina has a list of steps to follow. These 4, 5, 7 step examples will help you practice this spiritual contemplative bible reading.

The 7-step method of Lectio Divina builds on the 5-step method by adding two additional steps:

  1. Reading (Lectio): Start by reading a short passage of Scripture slowly and attentively, allowing the words to sink in.
  2. Meditating (Meditatio): Take a few moments to reflect on the passage and consider what it might be saying to you personally. What stands out to you? What emotions or thoughts come up?
  3. Praying (Oratio): Respond to what you’ve read by speaking to God in prayer. Share with Him what you’ve reflected on and ask for His guidance and wisdom.
  4. Contemplating (Contemplatio): Take some time to simply rest in God’s presence, letting go of any thoughts or distractions and allowing Him to speak to you in the silence.
  5. Recognizing (Illuminatio): Listen for God’s voice in the passage, recognizing the ways that He is speaking to you and revealing Himself to you through the words.
  6. Responding (Actio): Consider how you can apply what you’ve learned or heard to your life. Is there a specific action or change that you feel called to make?
  7. Resting (Sublatio): Rest in God’s presence, letting go of any lingering thoughts or distractions and simply being with Him.

Practicing Lectio Divina can be so powerful for our spiritual growth. By intentionally setting aside time to read and reflect on the Bible, we create space for God to speak to us in a personal way. Lectio Divina invites us to slow down and listen deeply, to move beyond simply understanding the words on the page to experiencing God’s presence and hearing His voice. Through this practice, we can deepen our relationship with God, gain wisdom and insight, and be transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit.

I hope these three options for Lectio Divina are helpful for your Christian spiritual journey.

1 thought on “Lectio Divina Examples: Steps for Contemplative Bible Reading”

  1. Pingback: What is Lectio Divina?: Benefits of Contemplative Reading for Everyday Christians [A Beginner's Guide] - Writer Christian

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