Imaginative prayer

Imaginative Prayer is a beautiful way to pray. Drawn from St Ignatius this way of praying invites us to allow our whole being to engage with the biblical text and to allow Spirit Holy to meet us as we are (not as we think we should be).

Rather than seeking to analyse a biblical passage or trying to find the ‘right’ or ‘correct’ answer – instead in Imaginative Prayer we allow ourselves to enter into the text with our imagination. By praying in this way – sometimes we can be more receptive to Spirit than when we simply seek to approach the text in an intellectual way.

This style of praying works best by choosing a short passage from the Gospels. The process begins by first opening yourself to God’s presence and inviting God to lead this time of prayer. Then, sinking into the stillness, after reading the short passage once slowly, you are invited to freely engage with the text by asking yourself questions such as:

  • What do you see?
  • What do you hear?
  • What do you smell?
  • Who is in this scene – what are they doing?
  • What is Jesus doing and saying?
  • How are people reacting?
  • Where are you in this scene?

After spending time engaging openly with these wonderings – letting your imaginings freely flow, spend some time talking with God about what has emerged. You may also like to make some art or do some journaling as part of this prayer response.

Further Reading

For more information about Imaginative Prayer here are some articles from Loyola Press’ Ignatian Spirituality online resource centre: