All too often, we can find ourselves caught up in how busy and noisy the world around us can be. From work and errands, to balancing time of relationships, friendships, and family, we can find ourselves running on “empty” if we’re not careful. Having a daily routine of setting aside time for prayer is essential for fostering our relationship with Christ, but can also be helpful in supporting our own need to be healthy and find peace. Dr. John Eckrich, who is the founder of Grace Place Wellness Ministries, endorses the daily practice of Word-Saturated Meditative Prayer as a way to come to the Lord in prayer in a way that is restful, peaceful, and faith-building.
Word-Saturated Meditative Prayer finds its foundation in the tradition of Lectio Divina as a method to intentionally structure prayer through reflection on Scripture and what God might be trying to teach. “There are many ways to come to the Lord in prayer,” says Dr. Eckrich, and Word-Saturated Meditative Prayer is a form of prayer that helps with “quieting the noise” of life and can lead to “a reduction of stress and anxiety.” This style of prayer is intended to be “formational rather than informational,” as we get to place ourselves in a position to receive what God wants to teach and show us today.
Word-Saturated Meditative Prayer,’s first step is Oratio, which asks for the Holy Spirit to be present in the following time of prayer and reflection. The second step is Lectio, during which a selected passage of Scripture is read aloud. This is followed by Meditatio, which is a time of reflection for the Spirit to guide hearts and minds towards hearing, learning, and internalizing the Scripture and its teachings. The fourth step is Tentatio, which is a time of centering on God’s will, resisting the attacks of Satan, and seeing where God is leading based on the Scripture. This cycle is typically repeated three times, as practiced at Grace Place Wellness retreats, as a way to further quiet ourselves and focus on where the Spirit is guiding us.
Word-Saturated Meditated Prayer is “something that could be incorporated into daily life of churches or schools as a helpful pause that can then lead to productive time” centered on the teachings of God, says Dr. Eckrich. Whether for personal prayer and devotional life, or for a way to bring a community together in reflection, this style of prayer might be helpful for you in your ministry. Contact Dr. John Eckrich at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or thoughts on how you might want to try this in your ministry.