Imaginative Contemplation: A guide

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Imaginative contemplation is the process of imagining ourselves in a Gospel scene, taking up a character, being with Jesus and being aware of what’s going on, and how we are feeling. When we pray with our imagination, we come into real intimacy with Jesus as we seek to place ourselves as fully as we can within a story from the Gospels.

This resource gives you a method of praying with your imagination and some sample texts to try. 

Try the audio guide 

The following steps might help you to pray imaginatively:

•  Read through the selected bible passage twice beforehand so thatyou familiarise yourself with the narrative.

•  Enter into prayer – with an act of the presence of God and asking for the Spirit to guide your prayer. You may also findit helpful to spend a few minutes with a breathing or stilling exercise to help you enter the prayer.

•  Imagine the place where the narrative is set. Use all your senses—what you can see, hear, touch, smell, taste - to enter into the scene. Take time to do this. Don’t hurry.

•  Become aware of the different people involved in the scene. Thenenter the scene, maybe as a disciple or one of the crowd or justfinding yourself there as you are.

•  Allow the scene to unfold. Be involved in what happens and letyourself engage with Jesus and/or the others around you as seems natural to you in the moment ... it may or may not exactly follow the scripture.

•  If you find you get distracted and your attention has wandered, just gently bring yourself back to the scene.

•  At some point, have a conversation with Jesus about whatever is uppermost on your heart in the moment, listening for his response.

•  End the prayer quite deliberately, don’t just fade out!

•  Review your prayer.

Practising Prayer

Download the full guide with sample texts below:

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