Meeting God In Scripture: Book Review

I am excited to share my review of Meeting God In Scripture:  A Hands-On Guide to Lectio Divina by Jan Johnson.  Jan is an author, speaker and spiritual director.  You can learn more about Jan at JanJohnson.org.

Jan Johnson’s, Meeting God in Scripture is a book that I will leave on my bedside table.  Each time I pick it up, I find myself coming back to the same passages until the passages are done speaking to me.  Only then do I know it is time to move on.

I received this book for free to review and this post may contain affiliate links.

Lectio Divina

“One colleague urged me to write this book to provide “training wheels” to help people move into Scripture meditation.”  In Meeting God in Scripture Jan shares how to practice Lectio Divina.  “There are four traditional steps in lectio divina—Read (lectio), Reflect (meditatio), Respond (oratio) and Rest (contemplatio).”  jan

Relax and Refocus

Jan has added two additional steps that I found particularly helpful.  I think you will feel that way too! At the beginning of each session she makes suggestions for what she refers to as “Relax and Refocus” (silencio).  It is vital that we learn how to slow down and prepare to receive God’s Word.

Trying It On

Jan also expresses that we need to incarnate God’s Word.  She describes this as, “Trying It On “(incarnatio)”.  Here she offers key questions that nudge us to take some action that embodies a truth found in the passage.

Meditation Exercises

Meeting God in Scripture  contains forty meditation exercises that are organized by topic.  We are to feel free to choose the topic that the Spirit moves us to select before we begin our session.  Each meditation exercise is filled with questions and commentary that will help you move through the four steps of lectio.

Relish this Time

We are reminded that we must never become discouraged.   We are to relish our time spent with God.  “So if nothing comes to you, simply cherish the time of Scripture meditation as time spent with God.”

I practice centering prayer on a daily basis.  Centering prayer opens me to the presence and action of God within:  Rest (contemplatio).  Lectio has become an important and wonderful complement to my centering prayer practice.

Jan’s book has helped me deepen my relationship with God.  Jan’s book has helped me become more open to what the Spirit wants to share with me as I read Scripture.  I am grateful that God shared Jan’s book with me!

Next Steps

If you want to learn more about lectio divina or go deeper in your existing practice I encourage you to check out this book.  I do not think you will be disappointed.

As Jan mentions, let the Spirit remake you!  “Scripture meditation goes much deeper than simple application. It opens us up to being completely undone by the Spirit and remade in the presence of the Word of God.”

Go Further

Meeting God in Scripture: A Hands-On Guide to Lectio Divina by Jan Johnson

When the Soul Listens: Finding Rest and Direction in Contemplative Prayer by Jan Johnson

Invitation to the Jesus Life: Experiments in Christlikeness by Jan Johnson

Lectio Divina—The Sacred Art: Transforming Words & Images into Heart-Centered Prayer (The Art of Spiritual Living) by Christine Valters Paintner

Lectio Divina Heart to Heart – Listening and Living with God by Contemplative Outreach: The ancient practice of praying the Scriptures is being rediscovered and renewed in our time. Known as Lectio Divina (Divine Reading), it is one of the great treasures of the Christian tradition of prayer.

 

Centering Prayer Course:  A Training Course for Opening to the Presence of God – Centering Prayer is a silent prayer practice that can move you toward a profound relationship with the Spirit of God within. It is a way of praying that opens the door to the Divine Indwelling—the ground of our being. With Centering Prayer, Father Thomas Keating and his colleagues Gail Fitzpatrick-Hopler and Father Carl Arico present the first online course in this method for deepening your intimacy with God and ultimately consenting to the presence and action of the Divine in all aspects of your life.

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