Prayer is a dialogue between God and his people. It is the raising of one’s mind and heart to God. Jesus taught his disciples how to pray when they asked him, “Lord teach us how to pray,” (Luke 11:1). Prayer is open to everyone. We are invited to speak to God and He speaks to us. We speak to him daily. Most saints spent long hours in prayer. We too gather every morning and evening in our chapel to pray, to communicate with our creator, to listen to him and to ask him to provide for our needs.
Prayer can be a slow, gentle process of communicating to God. It takes patience and daily perseverance, and above all, we must give up control and let God steer the dialogue. We must have stillness to notice and listen to his voice through the silence. During our daily morning meditations, this is what we sometimes do. One of the simplest forms of our meditation is the Lectio Divina. Here we undertake various steps namely:
- Place yourself in God’s presence;
- Read a section of the Scripture slowly and attentively several times;
- Reflect on the reading. Give yourself as much time as you need to see if a word or a phrase resonates within you, and what thoughts or feelings arise;
- Share your experience and reflection with God.
In assessing the significance of Lectio Divina I realize how much I have benefited from it. Most Monday mornings, our community has guided meditation, and through it I have experienced a deep conviction of truly being in the presence of God. This has not only facilitated my spiritual growth, but also that of many of us in the community. During my Scripture-based reflection, I am able to listen to what God is telling me in His word. Most of the time during this practice, we are encouraged to continuously repeat the verse or the word from the Scriptures that speaks to us or that has touched us, and in this we experience God’s presence thought the day.
Ochieng’ Austine Owala