Sometimes God just grabs you by the collar…

“The art of conversation is the art of hearing as well as of being heard.”
William Hazlitt


(yellow finch / Julie Cook / 2018)

If you are familiar with the prayer practice of Lectio Divina, or Divine Reading,
then you understand what it is to be reading a piece of scripture only to have a
portion, or entire sentence, just jump right off the page demanding your full attention.

According to BibleGateway…
Lectio divina (pronounced “lec-tsee-oh di-vee-nah”),
Latin for “sacred reading,” “divine reading,” or “holy reading,”
is a spiritual practice that has been in use for over a thousand years.
It was originally practiced by monks (Benedictine*) who spent a large portion of their days
praying and reading Scripture.

While reading they noticed that at times individual words, phrases, or verses seemed
to leap off of the page with a special personal importance.
Have you had the same experience?
These special words or verses can give a sense of encouragement,
comfort, thankfulness, or conviction that often applies to present situations
and can draw us closer to God.

Lectio divina is an intimate way of communicating with the Lord.
All too often in prayer and worship, we talk to God but don’t give him a chance to
communicate back to us.
Lectio divina employs God’s own words to have a personal conversation with him.

(*my insertion)

https://www.biblegateway.com/resources/scripture-engagement/lectio-divina/home

I have read many a book about this ancient type of prayer but have not been as “religious”
in my own practice of such.
Probably in part because I tend to not be as disciplined as I should with Divine reading…

Oh don’t get me wrong, I do have my morning prayer routine where I read scripture and
then pray the Divine office as I then move on to begin on my own personal prayers.

But neither time nor life has ever afforded me the opportunity to actually sit
and ruminate for any real length of time.
Rather the demands of the day usually force me to move on while the ruminating lingers…
banging on the back of my brain until I finally zoom my focus on that banging noise.

However, yesterday morning as I began reading the daily reading and came to the Psalm
verse used for the refrain for the Morning lessons, I was met with one sentence
that grabbed for my attention as if pleading with me to stop.

“I will bear witness that the Lord is righteous;
I will praise the Name of the Lord Most High”

Psalm 7:18

And it was that second part of the sentence, the “I will praise the Name of the Lord Most High”
that seemed to be vying for my full attention.

And maybe that’s the thing…I’ll admit that I don’t praise or offer thanksgiving
as much as I should because it seems that I’m spending most of my time busying myself
entreating God to please, oh please, hear me and hear these prayers of mine…
these prayers of need…

As it is always the prayers of ‘need’ that seem to take precedence…needs for health,
needs for jobs, needs for watchfulness, needs for protection, needs for safety,
needs for guidance…

Prayers not so much for me mind you but for those whom I’m praying for…
all of which, I suppose do, in turn, bring me into the picture as I’m the one imploring
because of a vested interest…

So since it seems that God has been throwing out a few signals my way…
A prayer of petition followed by a big loud “Thank you!!!” is obviously in order…

So Thank You, God!!!
Thank you for hearing my petitions and for knowing long before I do,
how it all turns out despite my fretfulness!!!

Praise the Lord.
Praise the Lord, you his servants;
praise the name of the Lord.
Let the name of the Lord be praised,
both now and forevermore.
From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets,
the name of the Lord is to be praised.
The Lord is exalted over all the nations,
his glory above the heavens.
Who is like the Lord our God,
the One who sits enthroned on high,
who stoops down to look
on the heavens and the earth?
He raises the poor from the dust
and lifts the needy from the ash heap;
he seats them with princes,
with the princes of his people.
He settles the childless woman in her home
as a happy mother of children.
Praise the Lord.

Psalm 113

25 comments on “Sometimes God just grabs you by the collar…

  1. Sarah says:

    Hi, Julie. Do you know the Gloria? I find it a satisfying way to offer praise when I can’t find my own words to do so.

  2. hatrack4 says:

    Thanks, Julie.

    When teaching the video class at the church, I chose a video on specifically morning devotions. One method was Lectio Divina. I was intrigued, but I was caught up in a church-wide Bible in a Year challenge. The following year I started reading a few verses per day as the video had described Lectio Divina. Their method was to read the same passage several times until a sentence or phrase touched your heart. Then that phrase was the mantra for the day.

    I modified it. I read the same small passage in several different translations. It has changed my Bible reading and communication with God. I’m just reading The Message now. I wanted to complete that ‘translation’ from beginning to end. But I am already figuring out which translations I want to move to next.

    • it is something I need to definitely spend more time with…obviously. And I like you taking the one translation and working with it from beginning to end…
      I tend to lean now more to the NIV but that’s not always been the case. Revised Standard when I was in highschool—then when I was still in the classroom and was working on my own art pieces that I would incorporate Latin, Greek and Hebrew, I bought the Septuagint that had an Greek / English side by side translation as I’ve heard that the Greek translation is the closest to the actual texts.

  3. atimetoshare.me says:

    Yesterday as I was talking to God, I suddenly realized the only time I call on Him is when I need something. I often forget the thanking part. His blessings are beyond compare – especially his gift of eternal life.

  4. Just love those “come right off the page” encounters with God! My practice…praise first for He is worthy and it acknowledges my agreement that He is God (and I am not) to hallow His Name. Second is thanks for as I praise Him, I become cognizant of how He has shown Himself strong in my life. Third is confession and repentance…and then supplication for others and then myself. Lastly is praise for it allows me to know that I am leaving, casting every care to the Great God I AM WHO I AM!!! Thanks for your post…true for all of us at various points in this journey but our most beautiful God always calls us closer! 🙂

  5. @vapor_sage says:

    I am researching the origins of the word now in Greek and Hebrew, in addition, the many ways to express praise, like what you do here every day.

  6. Elihu says:

    I can relate to this. Hebrews chapter 12 has been jumping out at me for two years at least.

    I remember about 9 years ago when we moved to the desert I was feeling desperately sad and forlorn, As I sat down to do my daily reading, a passage jumped off the page. Moses was speaking to the Israelites saying, “God brought you out to the desert to humble you and test you…” I laughed out loud because, while I recognized the context of the scripture, I saw too that the Lord was testing me as well, to see if I would be faithful wherever He sent me. ❤️

  7. Your beautiful, transparent honesty inspires and encourages, dear Julie! ❤

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