Praying with Scripture

Praying with Scripture

Vocations Prayers

    “In the sacred books, the Father who is in heaven comes lovingly to meet His children and talks with them …  It is eminently true of Holy Scripture that: ‘The word of God is living and active’ (Heb 4:12), and ‘is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified’” (Acts 20:32; see 1 Thess. 2:13). – Dei verbum 21

    As Jesus said of his disciples, they will follow me, because they recognize my voice. But they will not follow a stranger; they will run away from him, because they do not recognize the voice of strangers. (see John 10:3-5)

    Below, we introduce you to two traditional methods of praying with the Scriptures – Lectio Divina and the Visualization Method – as well as give some recommended Bible passages pertaining to vocation and call.

    Lectio Divina or “Divine Reading”
    This form of meditating on Sacred Scripture, dating back to the desert fathers, is comprised of four steps:

    • Lectio – We read slowly and attentively a selected passage from Sacred Scripture, noting the words and images that draw our attention.
    • Meditatio – We meditate or ruminate on the words and images that drew our attention. We are seeking the illumination of the Holy Spirit so that we come to a deeper spiritual insight into and connection with the Word of God.
    • Oratio – We take the fruits of our meditation and turn them into a prayer to God.
    • Contemplatio – We offer to God the efforts of our lectio, meditatio, and oratio and place ourselves in God, so that through contemplation, He can envelop us in His life-giving Word.

    Visualization Method
    This method of praying with Scripture utilizes our imaginations to enter more deeply into the Word of God.

    • Preparatory Prayer – We ask for the grace that all our intentions and actions may be directed purely to the service and glory of God.
    • Review of the Scripture Passage – We read the Scripture passage several times to familiarize ourselves with it.
    • Composition or Entrance into the Scripture Scene – In this step, we use our imagination to “compose” the gospel scene, almost like a stage design or set. What are the sights, sounds, and smells?
    • Statement of Intent or Desire – Before entering into the scene fully, we tell God what we hope and desire for our prayer.
    • Contemplation – Now we seek to participate personally in the scene, seeing the people, hearing the words, and observing the actions.  Sometimes we are eye-witnesses to the scene; other times we take the place of one of the characters in the scene. We pay attention to what emotions and feelings arise within us, what thoughts and ideas come to mind, what desires or fears awaken within us, etc.
    • Colloquy – We end our prayer by letting our heart speak freely to God, as a conversation between friends.

    Scripture Passages on Call, Discipleship & Discernment
    Old Testament
    Genesis 12:1-9 — Call of Abram
    Genesis 22:1-19 — Sacrifice of Isaac
    Exodus 3:1-12 — Call of Moses
    Exodus 13:17-15:18 — Leading of Israelites to Freedom
    1 Samuel 3:1-10 — Call of Samuel
    1 Kings 19:1-18 — Renewal of Elijah’s Vocation
    Isaiah 6:1-13 — Call of Isaiah
    Jeremiah 1:1-10 — Call of Jeremiah
    Jeremiah 29:11-15 — Reassurance to Jeremiah

    New Testament
    Matthew 4:18-22 — Call of the first disciples
    Matthew 14:22-33 — Peter walking on water
    Matthew 16:24-28 — Call of discipleship
    Matthew 19:16-30 — Call of Rich Young Man
    Matthew 26:36-46 — Agony in the Garden
    Mark 4:35-41 — Calming of the Storm
    Luke 1:26-56 — Call of Mary
    Luke 5:1-11 — Call of the first disciples
    Luke 5:27-32 — Call of Levi
    Luke 9:57-62 — Call of discipleship
    Luke 22:1-38 — The Last Supper
    John 1:35-51 — Call of first disciples
    John 15:9-17 — Call to fruitfulness
    Acts 9 — Call of Saul
    1 Cor 1:26-31 — Choice of God
    1 Cor 12:4-11 — Spiritual gifts
    Phil 3:10-14 — Focus on Christ

    For more assistance on praying with Scripture, Contact Us in the Office of Vocations.

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