This new prayer is a response to Pope Benedict’s call to the Church, to encourage “Lectio Divina”, “also through the use of new methods, carefully thought through and in step with the times” (quote from Pope Benedict). I pray that you may find this as one such new and simple method for your quiet time. Biblical Meditation is a practice which definitely helps us to “die to self”.
I chose the name of Awakening Prayer from St Paul’s own words. St Paul had quoted an early hymn in Ephesians 5:14 “Awake O sleeper”. St Paul calls us to wake up to our spiritual realities. Let us not sleep through life without realising how much God loves us. Let us allow Christ to change our lives to become more Christ-like. The prayer is based on Lectio Divina with some changes in the fourth step. Begin by making the sign of the cross and ask the Holy Spirit to come.
Step 1: Lectio
Pick a passage from the Bible, for instance a Psalm. Read it slowly, aloud if possible.
Step 2: Meditatio
Quietly reflect on the passage. You may use your imagination to help picture the passage. It is Christ reading the Scriptures to us, so we should have reference for God’s Word.Listen for a phrase or word that God may wish to use to speak to your heart personally. This word is the Greek word Hremata (plural form of Hrema), It is the specific word of God for your specific situation.
Step 3: Oratio
This is the speaking phase. You can pray to God. Give Him your praises, your worship. Share your problems with Him, give them to Him. Then let Him minister to You. God can speak to you in this step too. Let the Holy Spirit lead you, keeping Christ at the centre of our prayer.
Step 4: Contemplatio
This step includes an initial preparation to help us cross over from meditation to contemplation. You may wish to close your eyes, then pray in tongues for a few minutes. (if you do not wish to do this, an alternative is to say a few Holy Maries or some other brief vocal prayers)
Then rest in the Presence of the Lord. You may begin this by imagining Jesus in the Scriptures. (don’t worry if you find it difficult to imagine). Keep in a sense of quiet, being still at the very core of ourselves. Try not to think thoughts. This is not the time to talk to God. We encounter the Word Himself. God can talk to us in this time, but don’t worry about this. Just stay in the Presence of Jesus. If you get a spiritual thought, that is fine. If you get other thoughts, simply ignore them and rest in the Lord’s Presence once more (think of Jesus again). Keep doing this for a number of minutes. We have come to the healing fountain of living water, our Saviour.