Ignatian Prayer

Ignatian Prayer

Guided Imagination

The following are used in the Ignatian Exercises in preparation for each session of daily prayer in the scriptures. Try them, then adjust to fit your situation.

Presence: Stand for a minute or so, just outside your prayer space. With mind focused on God, consider how God looks upon you. In response, acknowledge God’s gaze. This might be physical or verbal. (Some people might bow or make the sign of the cross. Others might say something to God that acknowledges the gift of his acceptance and presence.)

Prayer: Gracious God, I beg your helping grace so that all my intentions, actions and operations may be directed purely to the praise and service of your divine goodness.

Ask: Gracious Father, I ask that you bless me: that I may know more intimately, in my heart as well as in my mind, Jesus, your son, who became human for me so that I may love him more dearly and follow him more closely.

Choose a story about Jesus from one of the gospels:

Read it.

Read through the story again slowly. Linger with each phrase and take it all in.

Close you eyes and open your imagination.

Explore the scene fully. Enter into the action. What is the setting? What do see? Hear? Smell? What can you touch? What do you taste?

Who are the people in the scene? What are they doing? What do they say? Who else might be there? What do their faces tell you?

Who are you in the story? What do people say to you? Do you say anything? What is your role? Do you take any action? What are you feeling?

Once the story is concluded, what do you do? Do you stay there? Do you go elsewhere? Do you relay your experience to anyone?

What is the story’s meaning for you now? Spend some minutes looking back over your time of prayer. Notice what happened during that time. Note the moments that you felt consoled or desolate. What other feelings did you experience? “Paying attention to your responses may help you better attune yourself to the leading of the Spirit, not only now but later, when you return to the demands of your daily life.”[1]

[1] Brown, Patricia D., Paths to Prayer. .San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2003.

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