In Christian history, Lectio Divina (literally ‘divine reading’) is a traditional spiritual practise of scripture reading, meditation, prayer and contemplation intended to promote deeper communion with God and growth in knowing, loving and serving Christ.
Writing to Timothy, his young protégé, the aging Apostle Paul underscored the importance of regularly leaning into Scripture as an essential act of spiritual discipline with these words,
“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.” (2 Timothy 3:16)
The following two prayers from Paul’s letter to the young church in Ephesus contain a remarkable smorgasbord of divinely inspired truth that can introduce us as Christ-followers to new and exciting spiritual vistas.
As we begin this week, take a few moments to practise Lectio Divina by first slowly reading through, then meditating on and praying about, and finally contemplating what God might be saying to you from these two prayers.
Is there a new truth that the Spirit might want to emphasize for you? Do we need a divine rebuke, or correction? How might these prayers prompt spiritual growth that can move us from a Bachelor to a Masters’ level of “training in righteousness?”
I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.
I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe.
That power is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come.”
For this reason, I kneel before the Father, from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name.
I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith.
And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge – that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
When you read these remarkable prayers, the discerning heart can’t help but notice some deeply comforting and powerful realities – about God our glorious heavenly Father, about the Holy Spirit who lives within us, and about the power and love active for us through Christ’s resurrection from the dead and his abiding presence with us.
God wants us to know him better. He longs that we grow in true spiritual enlightenment. He wants us to understand and experience him as a power-sharing God. He sets before us this stupendous goal – that we would be established in love to the extent that we are filled to the measure of the fullness of God, and then he makes this glorious vision possible by sharing his Spirit with us.
Throughout the week ahead, let’s return to these two prayers. May they marinate in our souls for God’s glory, that his kingdom would come and his good purposes be done in us as Corpath members and in his world.