Guided Lectio Divina: Jesus in the Midst of the Storm

The Mediterranean Sea
Where is Jesus in the midst of the storm? A lectio divinia study through Mark 4:35-41 helps us see Him!

For thousands of years, believers have used lectio divina as a way to meditate on God’s word and draw closer to Him. Readers take in the text four times, asking four simple questions. Then, they listen for the Lord’s voice.

This method of reading Scripture is powerful in everyday life. And in times of distress, it gently causes us to slow down, quiet our souls and remember that Jesus is present with us.

Wherever you are in life, we want to invite you to an online lectio divina experience. Emiko Mitchell, a logistics coordinator at TEAM, will be your guide through Mark 4:35–41. To join in, simply watch the video or read the transcript below.

“Lectio divina” means “sacred reading.” It is a way of reading scripture to have an encounter with God through the text. Since we’re not primarily reading for information, we go through the text slowly and prayerfully. We read the passage four times and ask four simple questions:

  • “What does the text say?”
  • “What does the text say to me?”
  • “What do I want to say to God about the text?”
  • “What difference does the text make in my life?”

Let’s walk through a lectio divina together by praying through Mark 4:35–41, in which Jesus quiets the storm. You can read along in your Bible, or listen as I read the text slowly.

For the first reading, we ask the question: “What does the text say?”

Pay attention to what is happening in the passage: Where does this takes place? Who is present? And carefully observe Jesus’ responses. There will be a short pause after the reading for a time of reflection.

On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.” And leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. And other boats were with him. And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling. But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased and there was a great calm. He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith? And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even wind and sea obey him?”

(Mark 4:35-41, ESV)

Pause for a moment now to reflect, asking, “What does the text say?”

We will read the passage a second time. This time, ask yourself, “What does the text say to me?

  • What phrases or words stand out to you?
  • Is there something that God might want to raise in front of you in prayer?
  • What are the resonances between the text and what is going on in your own life?

Perhaps you feel like Jesus is distant in your own life. Or there is a storm in your life that seems to overwhelm you. Pay attention to whatever it is, and take a moment to sit with it.

On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.” And leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. And other boats were with him. And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filing. But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased and there was a great calm. He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith? And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even wind and sea obey him?”

(Mark 4:35-41, ESV)

Pause for a moment now to reflect asking, “What does the text say to me?”

For the third reading, we ask, “What do I want to say to God about the text? What is my response to Him?”

Maybe you’ll feel moved to say, “God, I feel like You’re distant,” or “I feel like You’re kind of asleep in my life,” or “God, I have made You too small in my mind. Show me who You really are.”

It sometimes helps to express these difficult feelings in prayer, and sometimes a Scripture passage like this will help you do that. Again, there will be a short pause after the reading.

Let’s read the passage again:

On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.” And leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. And other boats were with him. And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filing. But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased and there was a great calm. He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith? And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even wind and sea obey him?”

(Mark 4:35-41, ESV)

Pause for a moment now to reflect asking, “What do I want to say to God about the text?”

We will read the text one last time. For this reading, ask the question, “What difference does the text make in my life?”

Perhaps you’re reminded of a time when God seemed absent, or a time when you were awestruck, just like the disciples. What might the Holy Spirit want to say to you through this passage today?

On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.” And leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. And other boats were with him. And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filing. But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased and there was a great calm. He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith? And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even wind and sea obey him?”

(Mark 4:35-41, ESV)

Pause for a moment now to reflect asking, “What difference does this text make in my life?”

As you close this meditation, it can be helpful to journal what you received through this prayer time and give thanks to God. Is He inviting you to look at your situation differently? Is He inviting you to once again ponder who He is and how He wants to meet you in your storms?

I hope you’ve been able to experience an encounter with God today through this Scripture passage. Lectio divina allows us to engage with a scripture passage prayerfully, where the living word can give us renewed hope and conviction for our lives.


What does it mean to be still and know God is God? We invite you to explore this question with TEAM’s international director, Dave Hall, in Praying Psalm 46 in a Time of Crisis. Then find out how the Psalms changed one missionary’s perspective on safety in missions.

Download your copy of "Praying Psalm 46 in a Time of Crisis."

About the author

TEAM - The Evangelical Alliance Mission
TEAM - The Evangelical Alliance Mission

TEAM partners with the local church to send missionaries and establish reproducing churches among the nations, going where the most people have the most need and proclaiming the gospel in both word and action.

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