Step #1: Lectio / Read
Click the link below or open your Bible to the passage and read through the reading at least once, paying attention to what is happening in the text.
Step #2: Meditatio / Meditate
Use the following meditation to help you reflect more deeply on the Scripture (you may want to read the passage again).
Did you see what St. John tells us at the beginning of today’s 1st reading? Paraphrased he tells us… “Have confidence in God, ask for anything according to his will, and know that he hears us and whatever we ask is ours.”
When I first read this it looked as if St. John was saying: Ask anything and God will hear us and we will get what we have asked! Easy enough. But in re-reading there is an important phrase in the text that means the world. It really says: Ask anything, according to his will, he will hears us, and we will get what we have asked. This is one of the beautiful yet challenging realities of the Christian life, namely, aligning our will with God’s will. In other words, seeking his will in all we ask.
Here’s the important spiritual principle: “God knows what is best for us.” If we left everything up to our limited minds things might not end up too well for us. In a healthy spiritual life our wills must align with God’s will.
Let’s try this when we ask in prayer next time…
First, seek to ask in accord with our state in life. For example, as a priest, I would not request in prayer to have Sunday’s off. Or as a teenager, it wouldn’t be in accord with one’s state in life to say: Dear God, help me be totally done with school and learning right now. Our states in life require of us certain things all for our good and the common good.
Secondly, seek to ask while always keeping others in mind. For example, if our prayer is simply “I want this” or “I need that” it then becomes very “me” centered instead of “other” centered. Seeking God’s will entails openness to others.
Lastly, seek to ask while leaving room for mystery. We live in a time where the answers for everything are found on Google. Seeking God’s will requires us to leave room for mystery or the invisible.
So next time we ask in prayer: keep in mind your state in life; think other-centered; and leave room for mystery. Here is where God’s will is found.
Step #3: Oratio / Pray
These questions are to be used to talk to God; have a conversation with the Lord about these questions and what is going on in your heart as you pray today.
What is something you have been wanting to ask God? Is it in accord with your state in life? Does it keep others in mind? Does it leave room for mystery?
Do you find it hard to follow God's will? Why or why not?
Do you believe and trust that God knows what is best for you?
Step #4: Contemplatio / Contemplate
In this step, you listen. Stop talking, let God speak to your heart. You may repeat one of these short phrases to focus your mind on the Lord.
"Thy will be done."
"God knows what is best for me."
"Jesus, I trust in you."
Step #5: Actio / Act
In light of today's reading and your time spent in prayer with the Lord, what concrete action or actions will you take to let this encounter with Lord bear fruit in you today?
When you ask something of God in prayer today, follow those three steps mentioned at the end of Step 2:
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The following image is here for you to save and use as a background or lock screen on your smartphone or device to help you carry today's Lectio Divina with you the rest of the day.
Today's prayer was prepared by Fr. John McNamara, priest of the Diocese of Rockford.
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