How Do You Pray with the Bible?

You know you should be praying. But do you ever wish someone would show you how? Fr. Mike starts by showing us how to pray with the Bible with a time-honored method called lectio divina. Typically it consists of five steps:

  1. Read a short snippet of Scripture, a few verses. (This is the “lectio” part.)
  2. Meditate on those verses. Think about what you read. Is there any hidden meaning, anything you didn’t notice at first?
  3. Pray about what you read. Talk with God about the passage.
  4. Meditate again and maybe read the passage again in light of what God spoke to you.
  5. Contemplate. Rest with what you just prayed about. Ask God what you should take away from the passage. Ask him what he’s telling you to do next.

Fr. Mike walks us through a Scripture passage involving John the Baptist where he employs the steps of lectio divina

Now, Fr. Mike points out that when we pray with the Bible, it’s not always mind-blowing. But don’t be discouraged. Here’s his analogy.

Where Father is from in Minnesota, smooth rocks on the lakeshore are called “skippers” because the smoother the stone, the farther the skip. Sometimes when we’re walking along the lakeshore we find the perfect rock for skipping across the water. Other times we don’t, but we find a rock that’s good enough. Sometimes that’s how lectio divina works. Sometimes a verse really jumps out at you, but other times there may be a verse that’s just good enough. God will still speak to you through it if you use the “good enough” verse in your lectio divina. So don’t be discouraged if a verse doesn’t jump out at you. 

More resources on prayer and lectio divina:

Monday, May 18 at 8 PM ET, Father Mike will answer your questions LIVE, for the first time ever on Ascension Presents! Whether your question is about why Catholics do the weird things they do, how you can overcome a specific challenge, or what Father’s favorite meal is, tune into the Ascension Presents YouTube channel to ask Father Mike live!   

Meet Fr. Mike Schmitz

Fr. Mike Schmitz serves as Director of youth and young adult ministry for the Diocese of Duluth and as chaplain for the Newman Catholic Campus Ministry at the University of Minnesota-Duluth.

He is a presenter in Ascension’s ChosenAltaration, and The 99 programs, and has a channel on Ascension Presents.