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Transcript:

Welcome! I am glad you are joining me today and for the next 4 sessions as we connect with God through the scriptures. There are many ways to read the Bible, but I find the following modification on Lectio Divina (meaning Divine Reading) to be very helpful in understanding scripture and connecting with God. 

This can be done alone in personal devotion time, in a small group, or with your spouse or family. There are no right or wrong answers. There is just time with God.

Connecting with God through Scripture can be powerful, God can heal deep wounds, bring incredible joy, and instill deep peace. Even with knowing the benefits, sometimes it can be difficult to pause, momentarily letting go of agendas, worries, and thoughts. If today is one of those times (and I have them too) remember that God wants to be part of those times as well. God loves us even when we have trouble focusing, but even when we try, we are still blessed by giving God this portion of our day.

Today you’ll do something that nurtures your soul, helps you connect with your greater purpose, and deepen your relationship with God. 

You can do this anywhere and anytime. I think the best way to do this is to be in a place that minimizes distractions. You can sit or lay down. You want to be comfortable, but attentive. If you happen to be in a situation that doesn’t lend itself to that, like a public space or in the car, stay attentive to where you are and just listen. But rest assured that any time you offer to God will be a blessing.

I will be guiding you, with the assumption that you are alone doing a personal devotion. If you are in a group or with your family, then just press pause when you need more time for sharing. By the end of our fifth session, you will be able to do this simple spiritual disciple on your own and nourish your soul.

Here is our format:
Listen – I will read a verse or two of scripture. Listen for a word or phrase that seems to connect with you.
Pray – In prayer ask God why a certain word or phrase in the reading connects with you.
Reflect – Listen to the scripture again
Contemplate – Ask God to be present with you. What might God be communicating to you through that word or phrase?

Optional: (You might feel the scripture or God prompting a response or some action.)
Respond, action, or imitate – How will you respond? Pray for God to guide you and thank God for this time.

So let’s get started. Take a few deep breaths.

Slowly, in through the nose. Hold it. And now slowly exhale out of the mouth. 

Repeat that a few more times.

Deep breath in. Hold. Exhale 

Pause – 

Take one last breath in and if your in a place that’s appropriate close your eyes as you exhale. 

Listen
I will read Matthew 11:28-29.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (NIV)

What word or phrase is connecting with you?

Say the word or phrase out loud.

Pray
In prayer say, “God open me to your presence. Amen.” Just be with God for a moment lifting the word or idea the scripture prompted.

Pause – 

Reflect
Listen to the scripture again with anticipation of going deeper.

Matthew 11:28-29
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (NIV)

Pause – 

Contemplate
Ask God to be present with you in your thoughts. Say this prayer, “God please be present in my thoughts and in my heart. Amen.” What might God be communicating to you through that word or phrase?

Let’s pause and just be with God.

Open your heart to God and share what you feel. No right or wrong answers here, just your feelings with no judgment. (For groups, if you are comfortable, share with the group your feelings about the word or phrase.)

Pause – 

Respond
How will you respond? Pray, “God guide me, and thank you for this time together, Amen.” If you are in a group share any thoughts you might have on responding. Remember that this is optional and you might not feel you need to respond today.

Amen. Amen.

Today you achieved something of great worth that many people never even seek. Over the next 4 sessions, you will being to develop this into a habit that will provide love, joy, and hope.

Whenever you’re ready open your eyes. Notice how you are feeling, not making any judgments, but just noticing your feelings.
May God bless you!

See you in session 2.