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).
When was the last time you prayed a bold prayer? One prayed confidently that God would answer in one way or another?
For much of my life, I was afraid to be raw with God. I was afraid that if I asked what was truly on my heart, my prayers would go unanswered, or at least not answered in the way I hoped. And while I thought I had a good relationship with God, I really struggled to trust him with my whole heart.
If my prayer seemed too big or too vulnerable, I often added a little caveat at the end. “Lord, I want ___ to happen. But only if it is your will.” And while this sounds pious, it was rooted in a lack of faith because I was afraid of asking God boldly in prayer. I was afraid that what I desired was wrong, instead of trusting that God gives us our desires so that we come to him.
In our first reading, Elijah was bold in his prayer. In order to prove who is the true God, both he and the priests of Baal call on the divine to send fire down upon their offering. The Baal priests dress up their offering and their prayer, dancing around the altar and calling out loudly on their god — doing everything “right,” but to no avail. Elijah, on the other hand, soaks his offering and altar with water, confident that nothing he does would keep the God of Israel from answering. “Answer me, Lord,” he demands in front of a host of nonbelieving witnesses. And he does.
The Lord wants us to call on him in our need, and he wants us to be honest with the desires of our hearts. No prayer is too big for God. He wants us to be raw, to be real with him because through that he can reveal himself to us. Maybe our prayer will be answered in the way we expect, like Elijah. Or maybe we will find ourselves like the followers of Baal, answered but not in the way we expected.
Our world needs people to pray bold prayers so that God can transform our hearts. And with our hearts changed, God can use us to transform the world.
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.
Am I bold in prayer? Do I truly believe that God will answer my prayer?
What do I desire from the Lord right now?
How has prayer transformed my heart?
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.
"Answer me, Lord."
"Transform my heart."
"Hear my prayer."
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?
Before we continue with the prayer we have been praying daily during this pandemic, let us pray for unity. Please click here to pray the Prayer to Overcome Racism. I encourage you to pray this prayer often, or one similar in your own words so that we can begin to strive towards the unity God created us for.
In this difficult time, we will use our Action step each day to join with people around the world in praying for an end to the pandemic of the Coronavirus, for the healing of all those affected, and for the comfort of all those who have lost a loved one. The prayer below is from Archbishop José H. Gomez, President of the USCCB in his reflection and prayer during coronavirus:
Holy Virgin of Guadalupe,
Queen of the Angels and Mother of the Americas.
We fly to you today as your beloved children.
We ask you to intercede for us with your Son,
as you did at the wedding in Cana.
Pray for us, loving Mother,
and gain for our nation and world,
and for all our families and loved ones,
the protection of your holy angels,
that we may be spared the worst of this illness.
For those already afflicted,
we ask you to obtain the grace of healing and deliverance.
Hear the cries of those who are vulnerable and fearful,
wipe away their tears and help them to trust.
In this time of trial and testing,
teach all of us in the Church to love one another and to be patient and kind.
Help us to bring the peace of Jesus to our land and to our hearts.
We come to you with confidence,
knowing that you truly are our compassionate mother,
health of the sick and cause of our joy.
Shelter us under the mantle of your protection,
keep us in the embrace of your arms,
help us always to know the love of your Son, Jesus. Amen.
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 Ava Lalor, an editor for a Catholic newspaper.
If you have anything you'd like our team to pray for, please go to the page of our website called "Prayers" and let us know how we can pray for you today.