Lent Practices – Week 5 – 3.14.2018

THEME:Subtracting Independence, Gaining Freedom

BREATH PRAYER: Lord, help me subtract my independence and surrender to You.


You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that testify on my behalf.
John 5:39


  • In a journal, note the day, time, and place you’re sitting.
  • Open with silence. Set a timer for 1, 3, or 5 minutes so you can be free to 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.


New Testament faith cannot be practiced in private.
Lectio divina can take a passage of Scripture we know well and give it new life. Many of us know John 3:16 as well as we know our own names. In our reading today, we read slowly to savor the words, letting them sink into new places in our minds.

Begin with silence. Invite the Holy Spirit to interpret these words, teaching you what He wants to say specifically to you.

Read John 3:14-21 slowly. This is not a teaching Jesus gave to crowds on a hillside; this is a private conversation between Jesus and Nicodemus, a Pharisee, in the dead of night. Imagine the scene and re-read the passage. Linger over the words and let them echo in your mind and heart. If a word or phrase grabs your attention, say it out loud. Stay with it. Let the Spirit interpret these words for you. Read the passage as many times as you need to feel their depth.

If you have questions, write them in your journal and ask them of the Lord in prayer. Jesus spoke these words–ask Him what He meant. Ask Him what He wants You to know about them. Ask Him what He wants you to do with them.

When you feel like your reading is complete, rest in God’s presence for a few moments before moving on to your next task. Ask the Spirit to remind you of all that you have been taught as you move through your day. Thank Him for leading you through this practice.

Summary: Write in your journal a brief summary (five sentences or less) of your practice.

Closing: Lord, help me subtract my independence and surrender to You.

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Image: Peter Paul Rubens via The Wellcome Collection

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