Today's Scripture: Matthew 6:1-8 (MSG)

This is the Message translation. To hear the NIV, click the YouTube link below.

“Be especially careful when you are trying to be good so that you don’t make a performance out of it. It might be good theater, but the God who made you won’t be applauding. 2-4 “When you do something for someone else, don’t call attention to yourself. You’ve seen them in action, I’m sure—‘playactors’ I call them—treating prayer meeting and street corner alike as a stage, acting compassionate as long as someone is watching, playing to the crowds. They get applause, true, but that’s all they get. When you help someone out, don’t think about how it looks. Just do it—quietly and unobtrusively. That is the way your God, who conceived you in love, working behind the scenes, helps you out.

“And when you come before God, don’t turn that into a theatrical production either. All these people making a regular show out of their prayers, hoping for fifteen minutes of fame! Do you think God sits in a box seat?

“Here’s what I want you to do: Find a quiet, secluded place so you won’t be tempted to role-play before God. Just be there as simply and honestly as you can manage. The focus will shift from you to God, and you will begin to sense his grace.

7-8 “The world is full of so-called prayer warriors who are prayer-ignorant. They’re full of formulas and programs and advice, peddling techniques for getting what you want from God. Don’t fall for that nonsense. This is your Father you are dealing with, and he knows better than you what you need. 

Lectio Divina

  1. Silencio: First, be still. Quiet yourself. Take some deep breaths as you inhale and exhale. It will help to sit back in your chair, put your hands on your lap, and gently close your eyes. Honor God’s presence in your sacred space.
  2. Lectio: As you prayerfully read the passage, revere God’s holy Scriptures. Slow down and listen in silence as you anticipate experiencing the awesomeness of God's holy voice. Pray that God would speak to you in a way different from any reading encounter you’ve had in the past.
  3. Meditatio: Through meditation, allow God’s Word to be fully digested into your very being. Turn God’s Word over and over in your mind. Pray that God’s Word will touch you at a depth you have not experienced before.
  4. Oratio: Go even deeper in your discipline of sacred reading. During a loving, intimate conversation with your Creator, allow the Word of God to transform you from the inside out. Accept God's warm embrace.
  5. Contemplatio: Let go of preconceptions. Let go and embrace God's Word. Enjoy just being with God. Rest in that space.
  6.  Action: Before you get up and go, ask God (and yourself): what must I do with what I've read? How can I live this out in my daily life? 

**I'd love to hear from you. If you have something to share from your time meditating on today's passage, please share with me by sending me an email.