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).
Prayer is powerful and that’s a fact we simply cannot deny. Countless times in my life I’ve been overwhelmed by the power that my prayer to the Lord actually has. I’m sure each of us can testify to those moments- however big or small- where the Lord answers our prayers in powerful and crazy ways. Unfortunately, we can slip into thinking of God as a vending machine, where we can send up prayer and expect to get exactly what we want, and when we don’t get those things we grow restless. We need to see prayer as less of an input-output activity, but as the life-blood of our relationship with God. Today’s reading from the Acts of the Apostles isn’t just another reminder that prayer can work in some situations or in certain peoples lives, but not our own; this reading is an encouragement and an exhortation to all of us to commit ourselves once more to prayer, confident that the Lord truly hears and works in our lives as a result of our prayer.
Paul and Silas, while in Philippi, were arrested and beaten for preaching the Gospel. Our reading today explains that while in prison, in a position of total helplessness, they decided to pray! In such a desperate moment, where it seemed there was no way to be freed, they decided to trust in the power of prayer. How often do you find yourself turning to prayer in moments like this? It’s easy to get overwhelmed with life and to find yourself in a hopeless place, but it’s in those moments where the Lord wants to come to your aid. By putting their faith in prayer, trusting that the Lord would hear them and help them, Paul and Silas find themselves not only freed from prison, but they even baptize an entire family as a result of their witness!
I’m not suggesting that every time you turn to prayer you should expect such drastic things to come about, but I am suggesting that the only reason Paul and Silas experienced something so amazing is because they turned to the Lord in prayer. Prayer isn’t magic so we can’t assume that every time we pray God is going to move huge mountains- but we can assume that the Lord will always move in power and in love to answer our prayers. Whether it’s times of difficulty where we need God’s help, or times of joy when we want to thank him, prayer has the power to transform our lives by the grace of God. So today, be confident in your prayer! If you’re experiencing hardships, have the faith of Paul and Silas that the Lord will move and rescue you from whatever you’re facing. Prayer is powerful- so dive into it and let God do the rest.
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.
How has God moved in powerful ways to answer your prayers in the past?
How much do you trust in the power of prayer?
What do you need to offer up to the Lord in prayer right now? Where do you need him the most in your life?
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.
"Thank you for answering my prayer, Lord."
"You are mighty."
"Lord, 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?
Be bold in prayer today- trust in it's power! Take time to offer up one specific area of your life to God in prayer today where you really need him and maybe haven't offered up to him in prayer before.
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 Adam Smyth, a high school youth minister at Our Lady of Perpetual Help parish in Ellicott City, MD.