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).
Let me start out by saying that today, if it’s okay with you, I have a confession I’d like to make. And, because I cannot see or hear you as I write this, I am going to assume that if you’re still reading it is, in fact, okay with you. So here it goes: I tend to blame God for all of my problems. Now, seeing as I am sure none of you have ever struggled with this, allow me to expand on it further.
I’d love to say that when things go wrong in my life or that whenever life gets hard I consistently turn to the Lord and seek always to praise and thank him in the midst of my trials. But, far more realistically, when it all hits the fan you’ll find me kicking and screaming, demanding to know why God has suddenly decided to hate me.
Now I get that maybe that sounds a bit melodramatic (listen I can’t help it that I have a lot of feelings) but the reality is, sometimes life sucks. And I don’t mean a I-wish-I-could-eat-some-Chick-Fil-A-but-it’s-Sunday kind of sucks; I mean a heart-breaking, earth-shattering, feels-like-my-world-just-got-turned-upside-down, kind of sucks. And when we get to those moments, those moments where it feels like everything is falling apart, it’s hard to know how to address God in the midst of our hurt. I mean, how do you even talk to Jesus when your world is crashing down?
Lucky for us (and by lucky, I mean perfectly and intentionally ordained, written, and planned by God) today’s Psalm holds the answer. In today’s response we say: “I will bless the Lord at all times.”
Interesting…let’s look at that again, “I will bless the Lord at all times.” Did you catch it?
We are called to bless the Lord at all times. Not just sometimes, not just when it’s easy or convenient, but all times. That means we bless the Lord in sucky times, in times when we’re in a fight with a friend or just broke-up with our boyfriend/girlfriend. We’re called to bless the Lord when we’re failing in school or when we’ve suffered the devastating loss of a loved one. The Psalmist instructs us to bless the Lord at all times. And we can be confident that these praises don’t fall on deaf ears because “the Lord is close to the brokenhearted; and those who are crushed in spirit he save.” I love the wording of that: “crushed in spirit.” I mean don’t we all sometimes just feel like our spirits are, at least a little bit, crushed?
But even then, when our spirit feels empty or crushed, we are called to blessed the Lord. Because when we give praise and thanks to the Lord, our brokenness turns into blessing in our own lives. So today, let’s ask Christ for the strength to bless him at all times.
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 going well in you life right now? What is not going well and causing you to feel brokenhearted or crushed?
How can you grow to bless Him at all times? What keeps you from praising God for both the good and the bad?
How can the Lord help you come to trust that He brings blessings and good things out of everything and anything, even the things that break our hearts?
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.
"I praise You."
"I thank You."
"I need 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 the Lord bear fruit in you today?
Give thanks to God and ask for the strength to praise Him for all things at all times. Spend time in prayer to bless the Lord for your joys and your sufferings and trust in your heart that He hears. Also, throughout the day, say a quick prayer of praise for all the good and bad things that happen to you.
Smartphone Lock Screen
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 Lauren Wright, a Youth Minister in Rockford, IL.
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