Alpha Waves and Lectio Divina in “Whisper” – Final Week of “Two Men Who Prayed for Rain”

It is not only in the earlier book, Primal, that alpha waves are recommended by Pastor Batterson, but also in one of his more current books, Whisper. Having now dealt with one extra-Biblical technique suggested by Pastor Batterson in Whisper, let’s proceed to the second: Lectio Divina (Latin for sacred reading). The one error leads directly to the other in Pastor Batterson’s new book:

If we slow our minds down, we enter a state of relaxed alertness that produces alpha waves between eight and thirteen cycles per second. Those alpha waves are amplified by closed eyes, which might be a physiological argument for praying and meditating that way.

Lectio divina is an ancient Benedictine practice, and it’s one way to discern the voice of God.

(Whisper: How to Hear God’s Voice, p. 74)

Pastor Batterson himself confessed that this technique originated with Catholic Benedictine monks. Immediately that should make us suspect.

Nobody knowledgeable of Lectio claims that it is taught or modeled in Scripture. Rather, it is a method created and first practiced by [Catholic Benedictine] Contemplative monks and hermits three to four hundred years after the time of Christ. Only recently, through the efforts of [mystic] Richard Foster and a host of others has Lectio gained a foothold among Protestants…Foster even defines Lectio as the means whereby “sanctified imagination” is used most frequently in the reading of Scripture…In Lectio one does not go to the Scriptures to learn about God, or His ways, or to find and apply truth, but to experience a feeling of the presence of God… It is a method of reading the Bible designed to feed the soul with minimum use of, or impact on, the mind..(Pastor Gary Gilley, Think on These Things: Lectio Divina pp.3-7).

Dr. Harry Ironside, Pastor of Chicago’s Moody Memorial Church from 1930-1948, emphasizes the fact that truth mixed with error results in “all error”:

Error is like leaven, of which we read, “A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.” Truth mixed with error is equivalent to all error, except that it is more innocent looking and, therefore, more dangerous. God hates such a mixture! Any error, or any truth-and-error mixture, calls for definite exposure and repudiation. To condone such is to be unfaithful to God and His Word and treacherous to imperiled souls for whom Christ died.(Ironside)


What are the Bible’s injunctions for a Pastor and teacher? Preach the gospel; keep to sound doctrine; study to show yourself approved (2Timothy 2:15). In 2 Corinthians 11:1- 4 Paul declares God’s jealous love  over His people that they never lose the “simplicity of Jesus” and the sweet simple relationship of “not I, but Christ.” Three times in John 21:15-17 Jesus asks Peter if he loves Him. Each time after Peter’s replies, Jesus says “feed My sheep.” Feed them with sound doctrine, with expository preaching from the Word of God as the basis and those sheep will grow and the Church will grow. The Church is more than a building and a body. She is to be a Bride, a Bride of the One Who is called the Word of God (John 1:1). She can only be that Bride as she is fed that Word – that Word that is as full of truth, purity and holiness as He is.

This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.
– 1 John 1:5 New King James Version (NKJV)

There must be no other message in any way that we believe if we desire to be His  Bride and be acceptable to Him: “that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.”


Works Cited:

Mark Batterson, The Circle Maker ( Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, Expanded Edition, 2016)

Mark Batterson, Primal ( Colorado Springs, CO: Multomah, 2009 )

Mark Batterson, Whisper: How to Hear the Voice of God ( New York, NY: Multnomah, imprint of Crown Publishing Group, 2017 )

Phillip Keller, Elijah: Prophet of Power (Waco, TX: Word Books, 1980 )

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I would like to thank my fellow consultants for all their assistance in getting this blog published: Michelle Arrington, Hannah Hall, Ariel Mcgarry, Carol White, Tracy Yoder, and J.P.Wilhelm. Their encouragement and patience have been invaluable to me.