. Logos for Spiritual Formation: the Lectio Divina Workflow

Logos for Spiritual Formation: the Lectio Divina Workflow

Guest writer Adam B. Shaeffer holds an MA in Spiritual Formation from Talbot School of Theology and a PhD in Theology from Durham University. He is already a big fan of Logos 8.

In this post, I’ll be exploring one of the ways Logos can play a vital role in our spiritual formation.

One of the primary aspects of how we change is establishing new habits, new ways of doing things, and new ways of engaging with the world around us.

Many of us have good habits, but how often do we ask if the habit could be improved? Just because our habits are good doesn’t mean that they are bearing fruit in our lives. Our good habits can actually sabotage our transformation if we do them thoughtlessly. This is, to my mind, one of the primary motivations behind the ancient practice of Lectio Divina.

Lectio Divina, or Divine Reading, offers us a new way (or, in truth, a very old way) of reading the Scriptures, a way that seeks to be open and honest about the truth of our hearts and of our experience of the Holy Spirit. It is a slow, meditative, conversational engagement with the Scriptures in which we expect to hear from God as we read.

Ultimately, this ancient practice is intended to promote communion with God through a deep and transformative engagement with the Scriptures. It’s beautiful, and I am incredibly thankful that Logos 8 has a Lectio Divina workflow built in.

But there are many different ways of practicing this ancient technique, and I wanted a workflow that fits what I’m accustomed to.

So I made my own workflow.

The Logos 8 workflow editor allowed me to quickly build my own Lectio Divina workflow based on the materials Dr. John H. Coe has shared with all of the students at the Institute for Spiritual Formation. The flow I created combines some of the standard steps with prayers of intention, which are intended to open my heart to what the Spirit might want to say.

By taking the time to consider the state of my soul and to ask for the Lord’s insight into where I am and what I have experienced, I am ready to encounter the Scriptures afresh.

By entering slowly into my time in the Scriptures and moving peacefully through it, I find that I am more receptive and willing to listen than I am when I just dive right in. I find that the Scriptures speak more pointedly and suggestively because I have taken the time to prepare my heart before I begin. I am ready to meet with and hear from the God who inspired the words before me.

And that is where transformation happens: in the presence of God.


For more information on building custom workflows, see the User Education Team’s article that walks you through the process.

Written by
Adam B. Shaeffer

Adam B. Shaeffer (PhD, Durham University) rarely had time for books until he discovered the fantasy novels on his dad's shelf at age 12; the rest is history. His primary research interests revolve around the interplay between theology and literature, attending to fiction's power to narrate theological insights through the thoughts and lives of imagined people and places. His poetry and fiction have appeared in *Jabberwocky*, *Resident Aliens*, and *This Mutant Life*.

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  • Just wanted to chime in and say how grateful I am that this workflow is made public for other users to enjoy! Thanks to Logos and Dr. Shaeffer!

  • Hi Dr. Shaeffer:

    Nice article, thanks for the workflow.

    Are there L8 resources that you would recommend to know more about spiritual formation, spiritual direction, and about vocation formation?

    Thanks ahead of time for your input.

    • You’re welcome, Hamilton.

      – I can’t speak highly enough of Thomas Merton’s works, and I know Logos has a bundle of his writings (I know because it’s in my library).
      – I have also appreciated the works of Father Thomas Keating over the years.
      – The IVP Spirituality Collection (featuring Simon Chan’s *Spiritual Theology* and Moon and Benner’s *Spiritual Direction and the Care of Souls*) is a nice little collection. Chan’s work is insightful and engaging.
      – And since we’re talking about David Benner, the Logos collection *Select Works of David G. Benner* is excellent.

      Of course, there’s Dallas Willard, St. John of the Cross, Teresa of Avila, and many others. Just browse through the *Classics of Western Spirituality Bundle* and you’ll find some classic works discussing spiritual formation without using the term.

      The list above isn’t comprehensive by any means, but I imagine there’s enough here to mull over for years to come.

  • Hello Dr. Shaeffer,
    Thank you for your description of a Lectio Divina. You have highlighted insights for a richer experience with God through his Word. My own time lacked some details you bring forward into focus. Some additional steps you bring are of much value to the standard workflow which I would like to add in.
    You have formed a new workflow and a hyperlink “my own workflow”. I’ve followed that link but the resulting page indicates “your document is up to date”. Is there another means for downloading your workflow?

    • I found it! It showed up under Guides > Custom Workflows.
      The elaboration in 2. Prayers of Intention is most worthy as it brings more specificity and clarity in making my heart open and fertile to receive God’s messages to me.
      Thank you for sharing this workflow!

    • Hello David,

      After adding it from the link in the article, you should be able to find it in Logos by clicking **Guides > Custom Workflows**. It *should* be right there waiting for you. If it’s not, please let me know and I’ll see what we can do about it.

      I pray that it works and that it is a blessing to your time with God!

  • Thanks so much for creating and sharing this Adam. Love seeing more Spiritual Formation tools in the Logos community.

Written by Adam B. Shaeffer