“There are no rules of architecture for a castle in the clouds” – G K Chesterton
“Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere” – Albert Einstein
“I only hope that we don’t lose sight of one thing – that it was all started by a mouse” – Walt Disney
IMAGINATION … Praying with it!
St Ignatius of Loyola, was the founder of the Jesuits. He died in 1556. One of his lasting gifts to the Church and spiritual life was his method of praying through imaginative meditation on Bible passages.
In praying this way we enter the story as a participant. It might seem a bit contrived but ‘go with it’ if you can – it’s a moving way of connecting with God and what emerges very often has a lasting impact.
- Take a moment to choose a passage from the Gospels, one involving Jesus and read it attentively.
- Re-run the story in your mind but this time use your senses and emotions to get inside the events – notice the surroundings, the colours and sounds. What are people doing and how do you feel? Take it all in.
- Can you get near to Jesus? Even talk to him?
Recently I prayed through the story of the woman who reaches out to touch Jesus’ robe.
( Matthew: 9 v 20-22)
Did she react on the spur of the moment as Jesus passed by? Maybe. On reflection though it felt more to me like a brave plan. Anyone experiencing 12 years of debilitating illness doesn’t always have capacity for spontaneity. She overcame her physical limitations, seemingly without family help to get near to Jesus. Perhaps she also broke religious/social rules relating to her condition by leaving her imposed isolation. Did she have to sneak out and not be seen? Yet in all the mass of people – Jesus knew she was there and what she had done. He didn’t rebuke her and he healed her.
I am overwhelmed firstly with compassion for her, then with utter joy that she was healed. How she must have felt! Although the length of her illness resonates with me personally and alerts my radar to others with daily chronic health battles, it is this woman’s bold faith that I admire above all else.
In my “imagination prayers” around this scene Jesus turned to me (oh yes – I’d somehow pushed through the crowd to be next to her……!) and in doing so He revealed to me more of His unrivalled kindness and unparalleled compassion, sharing precious words to build my faith, hope and love.
This is the master key, the gold standard gift to take away from your prayers today:
What Jesus said to you.
What you learnt about Him.
What these imagined scenes – (not old fashioned, back-in-the-day Sunday School pictures but vibrant, Spirit-led imagery) revealed to you.
COL 3 v 2: “Set you your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on the earth”