Imaginative prayer is meeting God through the use of our imagination and the five senses as we participate personally in the many stories of Scripture, particularly the Gospels. We enter the story personally, rather than read about the person(s) many years ago. Imaginative prayer stimulates our awareness, enlivening dialogue as we connect personally with the Living Lord in the Bible story. These personal, interactive encounters encourage intentional, deep responses to the initiatives of God.
By using a story from the life of Jesus in scripture, use your imagination to place yourself in the story.
- Get comfortable and quiet-attentively ask God to open your heart to this prayer time.
- Read the story once to get the general unfolding of events.
- Using your senses to engage the story:
- Begin to imagine the setting of the story using all of your senses to create a picture.
- Where are you? Who else is there? What do you hear, smell, taste, etc? Let yourself imagine it freely. Use the details to become emotionally engaged.
- Become a participant in the story: a spectator, one of Jesus’ friends, or as the person Jesus encounters. Let the story unfold.
Encountering Jesus in the story:
- Pay close attention to what Jesus is doing and saying. Pay attention to his demeanor.
- Allow yourself to be drawn into the experience of being there and actually encountering Jesus yourself.
- Allow Jesus to interact with you as you are in the scene. How does Jesus come to you? What does he do or say? Respond and see what happens next. Let the story come to a natural conclusion.
Responding to the prayer experience:
- Pay attention to the symbolic connections. (For example: What is the storm in my life? How am I lame or blind?)
- Reflect on how Jesus interacted with you in light of these connections. How does Jesus want to be present to those things in your life?
- Have a conversation with Jesus or write Jesus a letter honestly expressing your response.
- Together with Jesus reflect on how this experience might free you or what action you are encouraged to take.