For today’s devotional activity, you will need a study journal, something to write with, and your Bible.
Begin with this prayer from J.Philip Newell’s Celtic Benediction: Morning and Night Prayer
“For the morning light and its irresistible dawning, for your untameable utterances of life in boundless stretches of space and the strength of the waves of the sea I give you thanks, O God. Release in me the power of your Spirit that my soul may be free and my spirit strong. Release in me the freedom of your Spirit that I may be bridled by nothing but love; that I may be bridled only by love.”
Read Ephesians 3:14-21 out loud slowly and deliberately.
Listen to the passage and pay attention to the text. See if a word or passage seems to stand out for you, or “shimmer” in some way. When your reading is done, wait in silence for a short time (ex. 2-3 minutes*) Repeat to yourself the word or phrase that stood out or shimmered for you while you wait. (Lectio-Meditatio)
Read the passage out loud a second time slowly and deliberately.
Listen; again pay attention to the text. If a feeling or image comes to mind as you read the passage, hold onto it. When the reading is done, wait in silence a longer time (ex. 3-5 min.*) and repeat silently to yourself the feeling or image that came to you. (Lectio-Meditatio)
Read the passage out loud a third time slowly and deliberately.
Again, listen for the word or phrase that shimmers or stands out for you. What image or feeling accompanies that word or phrase? Wait in silence when your reading is done (5-7 min.*), concentrating on your word/phrase/feeling/image.
Begin to contemplate deeply (7-10 min.*), what the Holy Spirit might be saying into your life. (Contemplatio)
When you are done, write whatever message you received in your study journal.
Closing Prayer from J. Philip Newell’s Celtic Benediction: Morning and Night Prayer:
“In the beginning, O God, your Spirit swept over the chaotic deep like a wild wind and creation was born. In the turbulence of my own life and the unsettled waters of the world today let there by new birthings of your Spirit. In the currents of my own heart and the upheavals of the world today let there be new birthings of your mighty Spirit.”
* If you are familiar with lectio divina, you can increase these times of silence to fit your experience. The times given above are intentionally short for those who have had limited experience in the past. This is a modified version of lectio divina I have used as an alternative to Scripture and Sermon in a relaxed worship setting, and can be used as a Bible study devotional method. ~SC