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Introducing Discovery Prayer – DI Radio Show and Podcast

Introducing Discovery Prayer


Description: This week Dan and Melissa provide the layout for a successful experience in prayer by introducing discovery prayer (Lectio Divina).IntoTheDeepCover600width-252x380 - for "introducing discovery prayer"

Topics/Questions covered in the show:

  • The spiritual Doctors of the Church describe mental prayer as being essential to a successful prayer life.
  • By praying discovery prayer with the Gospels, one will encounter Christ, who transforms the soul.
  • Discovery prayer consists of reading, reflecting, responding, resting and resolving.
  • What are the sacred elements of prayer?


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About Dan Burke

Dan is the President of the Avila Foundation, the parent organization of, the Avila Institute for Spiritual Formation, and Divine Intimacy Radio, author of the award-winning book, Navigating the Interior Life - Spiritual Direction and the Journey to God, and his newest books Finding God Through Meditation-St. Peter of Alcantara, 30 Days with Teresa of Avila, Into the Deep and Living the Mystery of Merciful Love: 30 Days with Thérèse of Lisieux. Beyond his "contagious" love for Jesus and His Church, he is a grateful husband and father of four, the Executive Director of and writer for EWTN's National Catholic Register, a regular co-host on Register Radio, a writer and speaker who provides online spiritual formation and travels to share his conversion story and the great riches that the Church provides us through authentic Catholic spirituality. Dan has been featured on EWTN's Journey Home program and numerous radio programs.

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  • Judy Silhan

    Question: Is Lectio Devina or Discovery Prayer only for mental prayer with Scripture? Listening to the broadcast reminded me of the experience I had just gone through while reading about St. Cornelius and St. Cyprian, in the LOH. As I read St. Cyprians words – “…He foresaw in the spirit the praise your courage deserves and the strength that could not be broken…,” I was tearfully and emotionally reminded of Blessed Jerzy Popieluszko who fearlessly and courageously celebrated Mass and proclaimed the gospel despite the government trying to silence him, and eventually he too was martyred as St. Cyprian and other saints have been. As you mentioned, I did stop and allow God to touch my heart in this, and what I understood was that just as the apostles would not be silenced, St. Cyprian, a disciple of Christ, would not adhere to the commands of Galerius Maximus, in denouncing Christ, and Fr. Jerzy would not stop proclaiming the truth as the government demanded. I am also a disciple of Christ and come what may, I need to stand strong in my conviction to follow Christ and not fear proclaiming His truth.
    Briefly, this is what happened, and why I asked if Discovery Prayer is only for Scripture?

    • LizEst

      The Lord can use any spiritual reading to touch a person in prayer, Scripture being particularly fruitful because it is the Word of God.

  • Connie Rossini

    I have never before been instructed to do the reading portion of mental prayer out loud. In fact, although I don’t know for sure that anyone ever told me to do mental prayer silently, that is the way I have always thought was “best,” to cultivate silence and listening. So that’s very interesting to me. I think it would feel odd for me to do that at this point, but it’s interesting to think about.

    • LizEst

      Connie, I’ve done it both ways. Sometimes, one way has been more profitable for me than the other…and vice versa, according to the circumstances. I like the silent prayer. But, when I am tired, sometimes the spoken word is helpful. In fact, when I first prayed out loud, I was surprised by what I “heard” that I had not heard when praying the same passage silently.

      • Connie Rossini

        I do speak to God aloud sometimes when I am really tired or really distracted. I just never thought of reading aloud when I am not reading to someone else. I’ll have to think about this some more.

  • LizEst

    Yes. But, I would apply it to reading the spiritual masters such as the Doctors of the Church and holy reading such as things like the “Divine Intimacy” readings, encyclicals, etc.

  • DianeVa

    I just listened and have a question regarding sacred space. My sacred space is a desk in the corner which I use both for prayer and sacred study/reading which includes my graduate studies. I know this is not optimum, and I am distracted quite often in prayer, so perhaps I need to separate the two? What I try to do is start with prayer, focusing on vocal and mental prayer each morning. Then after, the following hour or later in the day I am at that desk for study. Is this ok or should I aim to separate the two spaces? I find I do my theology studies and writing better in my sacred space! Any advice would be helpful.

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