& Lectio Divina
Reflecting on the Lord's Prayer
For this prayer practice Ian Mobsby leads a creative approach combining a Lectio Divina reflecting on the Lord’s Prayer as cited in the Gospel of Matthew. The fourth section of the Lectio, the Contemplatio or Contemplation section will use the Centering Prayer method. Remember your sacred word … if you haven’t one then do listen to the introduction to Centering Prayer also in the recordings. There are a number of said prayers in the Lectio – see below for the details.
For this centering prayer practice we are going to use the four stages of the Lectio Divina –
You will also need to have access to the various prayers at the beginning or end of each section. So first find a comfortable and supported sitting posture and focus inwards using your breath. Let us pray to and with the presence of God.
Lectio | Listening to the Word of God as revealed to the words of scripture. Matthew 6 v9-16, 25, 31-34, NRSV
‘Pray then in this way: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread.* And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And do not bring us to the time of trial,* but rescue us from the evil one.* For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you; but if you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. ‘And whenever you fast, do not look dismal, like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces so as to show others that they are fasting. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. ‘Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink,* or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Therefore do not worry, saying, “What will we eat?” or “What will we drink?” or “What will we wear?” For it is the Gentiles who strive for all these things; and indeed your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But strive first for the kingdom of God* and his* righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. ‘So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today.
Meditatio | Reflecting on what this Word is telling us personally today.
To know Fully that God is our Father means recognising the common origin of all created matter – both great and humble. Just like a worldly parent, our Father has made us in Gods image – we are not God – but we find out fulfilment by an ever deeper and mysterious relationship to God as Trinity. The I AM God began as the universal which, through the act of calling all things into being, Gave birth to the particular in all it’s multitude; whereas we human beings begin with our individual, seemingly separate existence and seek to rejoin the whole.
God let my soul absorb and encounter your divine reality, may you Creator Spirit and Redeemer be hallowed in me, may the Spirit quietan the inner whirlwind of my lusts, hates and thoughts, help me to recognise God as the greatest good who leads me into stillness. Amen
Oratorio | Responding to God through active or discursive prayer.
Open verbal prayer
O Lord give me the courage to follow you Not only into the deserts of this world But also Into the wild and lonely places of my parched soul, Which yearns for your living water More than the dunes of the Sinai long for rain. O Lord, forgive me as I lose my way amid The ever-changing, whirlswind cravings of my body, The quaking of a heart torn between love and terror, And that false self whose flame distracts me from your light; You are in none of these, I know. Thank you, O Lord for calling me back to yourself when I fail, With the same still small voice. That guided Elijah out of the cave of his fears and despair To return to your direction Amen
Contemplatio | Resting in the peace of Christ left us, opening ourselves to him in silence, and letting the Spirit pray through us and for us with sighs that words cannot express.
Serene Spirit of God Shining in the ground of my being Draw me to yourself Draw me past the snares of the senses,
Out of the mazes of the mind Free me from symbols, from words, That I may discover The signified, the word unspoken, In the darkness That veils the ground of my being.
There will now be 15 minutes to allow for Centering Prayer using your sacred word.