Imaginative Prayer (PDF)
Your mission: Use your imagination to pray with a story from the Gospels.
Imaginative prayer is a great way to “meet” Jesus face-to-face. Here’s a step-by-step guide to getting started. Check out the extended excerpt and preview images below…plus, the accompanying web article includes 40 readings to try and the story of how St. Ignatius learned to pray while spending nine months recovering from a battle injury.
This is a MISSION:CHRISTIAN Journal page. Mix and match your M:C Journal pages to create a journal customized to your own unique Christian mission. Each journal page includes two pages; print them back-to-back or separately. The first page offers a short introduction to the “mission,” while the second page includes journaling space for your “mission report” and a fun self-examination quiz. The journal pages are formatted to allow for a three-hole punch so you can collect them in a binder.
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Imagine, for a moment, that by some magic or technological genius, you could travel back in time to meet Jesus face to face, walking with him along the roads, fields, and seashores of ancient Palestine. You could see him work miracles and hear him preach with your own eyes and ears. You might even talk to him, ask him questions, or seek his healing touch.
What would that be like? Would you jump at the chance, full of excitement…or would you hesitate, a little nervous? We’re talking about the Son of God, after all!
Sadly, time machines don’t exist. But there is another way to “meet” Jesus that is better than any time machine: Ignatian contemplation, also known as imaginative prayer.
How to try imaginative prayer in 4 easy steps
People have used their imaginations in prayer forever, but the method of imaginative prayer you’ll try in this mission was popularized by a sixteenth-century Spaniard named Iñigo Lopez de Oñaz y Loyola, better known today as St. Ignatius of Loyola.
St. Ignatius believed that God created human imagination for the purpose of drawing us closer to him. He knew that the imagination can just as easily separate us from God, of course. But imaginative prayer is different from idle daydreaming. It is always anchored in two things:
- Our prayerful invitation for the Holy Spirit to use our imagination to draw us closer to God.
- A story from the Gospels.
The same Holy Spirit who inspired the authors of the Gospels also “inspires” our imaginations to draw us closer to Christ. Imaginative prayer creates a space for that encounter. The heart of imaginative prayer, then, is to “meet” God, usually through Jesus, in a personal way.
Here’s what to do….
Publisher: Gracewatch Media
Format: PDF Digital Download
Publication date: March 26, 2020
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