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3. Oratio – Praying in Response to God’s Word
Bible study must lead to prayer. Bible study must lead to prayer. In this way, studying Scripture creates
an intimate dialogue between God and the reader. In lectio and meditatio, we listen as God speaks; in oratio,
we respond to God with open hearts.
Lectio divina invites two different levels of prayer: active prayer and receptive prayer.
• Oratio is a word-filled prayer. Having heard God’s word inviting our response, we then answer. We offer to
God prayers of praise, petition, and thanksgiving based on the Scripture we have studied. When we root our
prayer in Scripture, we receive new vocabulary in which to pray. The words of the Scriptures begin to enter
into the language of our prayer to God.
• Contemplatio is a prayer with minimal words. It is a resting in God. Sometimes it is helpful to choose one
word or phrase from the Scripture we have read to bring to the prayer. We can then allow that word or
phrase to remain with us throughout the day so that the experience of prayer continues.
The risen Jesus said: “Listen! I am standing at the door, knocking;
if you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to you” (Rev 3:20).