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).
These readings are incredibly close to the heart of God.
Queen Esther is doing exactly what Jesus urges us to do in the Gospel— go to the Father as His beloved child and ask boldly for what you need and for what you desire.
Is this something you find challenging? It definitely was (and still is) for me.
I grew up believing that if I asked God for anything, it was selfish and ungrateful. How dare I ask for anything from God when I have a beautiful life? How dare I ask for anything when others do not have what I have?
And to take it one step further, if I did ask God for what I desired and He didn’t give it to me, I believed it was because I was wrong— I was selfish, ungrateful, not trusting enough, didn’t pray hard enough, etc.
Do you see the tactics of the enemy at play here—> I shouldn’t ask because it is wrong, and when God doesn’t give me what I desire, it is because I am wrong.
Y’all (I am from Texas so when I say “y’all”, I mean business), this is not of God! The enemy wants to shame you from approaching God’s heart with filial trust, and he wants to shame you through despair as you look at your own heart. But y’all. The truth is that God always wants us to come to Him, no matter what, and the truth is that God calls us “very good”. We must come to our Father to know who He is and who we are.
But before I close I do want to acknowledge something that can be challenging when it comes to approaching God with our needs and desires.
Asking God for what we need, and especially for what we desire, is very vulnerable because our deepest desires are what we hold most dear. If we give them to God, will He come through? Equally challenging and vulnerable is asking God for things when we feel He has let us down in the past. However, dear brothers and sisters in Christ, what I want to say is this, even when I received a “no” from God, even when it felt painful to show God my heart, it was in daily prayer that I was reminded that He was my Father. Tender, compassionate, only looking out for my good. I was reminded that my Father created the world, my Father promised and gave a Savior, my Father made Abraham the father of many nations, my Father split the Red Sea, my Father fed the Israelites in the wilderness, my Father gave sight to the blind, my Father restored families and those on the margins, my Father said all things work out for the good of those who love Him. My Father is a Father who makes good on His promises.
These readings are incredibly close to God’s heart because they express His greatest desire- that you, HIs beloved child, would simply come to Him.
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.
Lord, what is it that I desire and need?
Lord, where am I not asking You for what I really desire? Why?
Lord, what do I believe about Your heart and about mine? Why?
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.
God the Father is trustworthy.
God is for me.
I am His beloved.
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?
Write down 5 characteristics of Jesus’ heart (ex. tender) and how He has proved those characteristics in your life (ex. He didn’t judge me when I complained to Him about an annoyance in my life.). Put them on your bathroom mirror for a day or two just to be reminded!
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.
This prayer was written by Alycia Frech, campus minister at St. Louis Catholic church in Waco, Texas.