THEME: COMFORT ISN’T COMFORTABLE
BREATH PRAYER: LORD, HELP ME CARRY YOUR COMFORT TO THOSE IN NEED.
“He tends his flock like a shepherd:
He gathers the lambs in his arms
and carries them close to his heart;
he gently leads those that have young.”
- In a journal, note the day, time, and place you’re sitting.
- Open with a few moments of silence. Rest, and breathe deeply.
- Complete the following sentence in your journal: Today, I feel ________________.
- Read the centering verse above slowly (aloud or silently).
Pause for a few moments of silence, then pray this week’s breath prayer.
For a short form of this exercise, follow the prompts in italics.
As we employ the practice of Lectio Divina, we learn to “soak” in a passage, letting its words study us rather than us studying the words. Set aside at least 20 minutes in silence and solitude to sit with this passage. If you are following the short form, plan on spending 5-10 minutes on this practice.
A portion of George Frederick Handel’s Messiah oratorio is based on the passage we’re studying today. If you like, you can listen to it here as you practice or another time during your day.
- Begin with rest. Allow your mind and body to grow still. Invite the Holy Spirit to come into your practice time, giving you His interpretation of the words of scripture. Don’t rush this time.
- Short form: Pause and invite the Holy Spirit into your practice time. Spend a full minute with your eyes closed and listen to yourself breathe as you feel yourself rest in His presence.
- When you feel at peace, read Isaiah 40:1-11. As you read slowly, ask the Lord to cause a specific word or phrase stand out to you. After you finish reading, pause for a few moments of silence.
- Short form: Read Isaiah 40:1-11 slowly. Write in your journal the word or phrase that stands out to you. Record your thoughts and/or promptings in your journal.
- Read the passage a second time, asking and expecting the Lord to draw your attention to something specific. When He does, stop and notice the word or phrase that grabs your heart. Imagine you’re speaking with Jesus about these words, and He is suggesting topics of conversation for the two of you. What does He want to talk about? Why is He pointing out that specific word or phrase to you? Repeat the word or phrase that stands out, silently or out loud.
- Short Form: Read the passage again. Ask the Lord what He would have you know about the word or phrase that has drawn your attention. Spend a few minutes in silence listening for His answer. Journal whatever thoughts come to mind.
- Reflect as you prayerfully re-read the passage a final time. What emotions arise? What is Jesus asking you through this passage and through the word or phrase He brought to mind? What is He offering you or challenging you to do?
- Short Form: If you feel drawn to it, read the passage a third time.
- Respond to Jesus, continuing the conversation with Him. Ask Him questions about the word or phrase that stood out to you. Listen for His responses.
- Short Form: Thank the Lord for how He used scripture to speak to you today.
- Rest again in silence. Let the words of Jesus sit in your mind. If you’re drawn back to the passage, read it again. End by simply being with God, silent, resting in His presence for a few more minutes.
- Short form: Take another minute or two and allow yourself to rest by simply soaking in God’s presence before you move on to the next part of your day.
Summary: Write in your journal a brief summary (five sentences or less) of your practice.
Closing: Lord, help me carry Your comfort to those in need.