In his article "Meditating Day and Night: Keeping Vigil in Prayer," Fr. Carlos Mesters offers five different sorts of helps to those who would like to pray using the Bible. An excerpt of this excellent succinct guide follows:
from "Meditating Day and Night: Keeping Vigil in Prayer"
Fr. Carlos Mesters, O. Carm
When you begin a lectio divina of the Bible, you are not concerned with study. You are not going to read the Bible in order either to increase your knowledge or to prepare for some apostolate. Neither are you reading the Bible in order to have some extraordinary experience. You are going to read the Word of God in order to listen to what God has to say to you, to know his will and thus to live more deeply in allegiance to Jesus Christ (Prologue). There must be poverty in you; you must also have the disposition which the old man Eli recommended to Samuel: Speak, Lord, your servant is listening (1 Sam 3:10).
2 Listening to God does not depend on you or on the effort you make. It depends entirely on God, on his freely made decision to come into dialogue with you and to allow you to listen to his voice. Thus you need to prepare yourself by asking God to send his Spirit, since without the Spirit of God, it is impossible to discover the meaning of the Word which God had prepared for us today (cf. Jn 14:26;16:13; Lk 11:13).
3 It is important to create the right surroundings, which will facilitate recollection and an attentive listening to the Word of God. For this, you must build your cell within and around you, and you must stay in it (VII) all the time of your lectio divina. Putting one's body in the right position helps recollection in the mind.
4 When you open the Bible, you have to be conscious that you are opening a book which is not yours. It belongs to the community. In your lectio divina you are setting foot in the great tradition of the Church, which has come down through the centuries. Your prayerful reading is like the ship which carries down the winding river to the sea. The light shining from the sea has already enlightened the dark night of many generations. In having your own experience of lectio divina you are not alone. You are united to brothers and sisters who, before you, succeeded in meditating day and night upon the Law of the Lord and in keeping vigil in prayer (VII).