Stain glass, hymns and other forms of art have not only been worship aids but media. For hundreds of years many people’s faith was enhanced through them. They were and, in some ways are still a part of people’s spirituality. Today, with developments in tech, it only makes sense that apps take the part of these mediums. Devotional apps have found space on the screens of many Christ followers. That’s why I thought we’d take a look at some Lectio Divina devotional apps.
What Is Lectio Divina? / 101
Lectio Divina is growing and gaining acceptance with Christ followers of different traditions. Scott Erickson and Justin McRoberts’ 40 Days of Practice is a good example.
The phrase itself, is Latin and, in simple terms translates, ‘Divine / spiritual / holy reading’. Wouldn’t you agree it’s appropriate seeing that the reading we’re talking about here is that of Scripture?
In this practice you start by stilling yourself. That is quiet yourself. In a world filled with noise, this is something we all need. Lectio, Meditatio, Oratio and Contemplatio are the other parts of the practice. Nothing weird, it’s only Latin.
Lectio, is about reading Scripture without rushing. Talk about discipline. It is reading slow enough to allow God to speak to you. It could be through a word or phrase in the passage. Meditatio, I’m sure you’ve figured out, is about thinking a little deeper about what that means to / for you and your world.
Oratio has to do with speaking to God. His Word often challenges some sort of response from us. This is where we start engaging with what the reading means. Conversation with God. And, Contemplatio is pausing to hear God respond or speak back to us.
There are other people who are likely to explain Lectio Divina better, but I hope I’ve given you an idea.
The 2 Lectio Divina Devotional Apps
LectioDivinaJournal is an initiative of Alongsiders Church. The app seems to be an extension of the website and physical journals. To use the app you must have a paid-for account. It costs $1.99 per month.
You can also access the content on their website. Which is great if you prefer a full-on keyboard for typing.
It has still-yourself-timer to start. You can set how long you want the timer / intervals to be.
The Scripture reading links to BibleGateway, which opens in browser within the app. Unfortunately this doesn’t load if you’re not online. You need Internet connection for BibleGateway Bible to load. Alternatively you could read the Bible on offline YouVersion or BibleGateway. Hard copy Bibles still work 😉
As per the app’s name you can journal words, phrases or sentences that get your attention, in meditatio.
Oratio–you can write or journal your prayer. Then you can write your prayer and another timer for contemplation for the Word to ‘settle’. And that’s it.
The app guides you through motion. You’re able to go back in the calendar and also see all the entries you’ve made. This is a great way of making sure you don’t lose what you’ve journaled in a box in the basement.
And, the entries are with you wherever you go, assuming you have your phone or tablet with you, of course.
Lectio365 is an initiative by 24/7 Prayer and CWR. The app is like a typical devotional. Each week has particular theme / topic / focus. And, in the Lectio Divina tradition guides you through content prepared by the 24/7 Prayer team.
The interface is very simple. One of the things I love about it are the prayer guides. Together with the Psalm for the day, they can be a great way to help you start praying. Sometimes I need the help.
Lectio365 has an audio guide, so you can listen and or follow along the readings with it. There are times I felt rushed when I had it on and I’m glad you can hit, ‘pause’ as you engage Scripture or meditate.
The Bible readings are in app and together with the audio, you can download the readings in advance for use offline. Ideal if you’re going to be offline or want to avoid distracting notifications. Speaking of notifications, one of the things I’ve appreciated about Lectio365 are the reminder notifications.
I know this may be lame for some but I sometimes need the reminder to pray and reflect. Sometimes you have to do what you have to do. I’d rather be reminded to pray and engage Scripture and I do it than not.
It’s great that 24/7 Prayer gives the app for free. It obviously costs them something, but they are giving it for free.
These two Lectio Divina devotional apps, are available on both iOS and Android. I wrote from my experience on iOS. In the end you can go with either app. I found it difficult to recommend one over the other. I’ve been using Lectio365 since its launch and have loved going offline and the audio.
Whatever you do, the important thing is making sure that you have time to connect with God. Do it.
Are you using either of these apps? What’s your experience like? If not what devotional app are you using and what do you like about it?