One of the things I love about Ignatian spirituality is the encouragement to use our imagination in prayer. God has created us as whole beings - our imagination is just part of the person that we are - and part of God's creation. And we can use our God-given imagination to help us to grow in our spiritual lives. The Jesuits call this 'imaginative contemplation'. It is a way of meditative praying that can help to open us up to God.

This method of praying is used mostly with Gospel passages. This is how you might use it with one of the Jesus stories.

Find a quiet spot and read your chosen passage through a few times in order to familiarise youself with the story, but try not to learn any of it by rote. Ask yourself some questions: where was this happening; who was there; what sort of noises would I have heard; what would I have experienced had I been there.

Now close your eyes and allow the scene to unfold in your imagination. As the story unfolds, allow yourself to be in the scene as though your are one of the people there. Perhaps you speak or are spoken to? Go with it!

When you have finished, take a little time to thank God for your time of prayer. And you might find it helpful to jot down some notes to remind yourself later of your prayer time.


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