Prayer isn’t just a left-brained experience of memory and recitation, nor is it an introvert’s Mecca of silence and solitude. Prayer is about relationship and God wants to encounter you in so many different ways. One way that’s been helpful to me is a very imaginative meditation on Gospel passages.
When I lead groups through this type of prayer, people often ask where they can get more of these meditations. Obviously, you can do this with just you and a Bible, but it often helps to have the questions to keep you focused. So I’ve started recording the meditations for you to pray with at home. For more information on this style of prayer,most importantly how to do it, check out this post or scroll down for some of the basics. These meditations range in length from 10 to 30 minutes.
A 28-minute meditation on the raising of Lazarus: Lazarus Meditation
A 20-minute meditation on the anointing at Bethany: Anointing at Bethany
Alternatively, a 10-minute meditation on the anointing at Bethany: Shorter Anointing at Bethany Meditation
An 18-minute meditation on the woman caught in adultery: Woman in Adultery Meditation
An 18-minute meditation on the paralytic lowered through the roof: Paralytic Meditation
An 18-minute meditation on Jesus and Peter walking on water: Walking on Water Meditation
A 12-minute meditation on the call of Peter: Call of Peter Meditation
This style of prayer is often called Ignatian, after St. Ignatius of Loyola whose Spiritual Exercises use this technique. The idea is that you enter into the story and allow the Holy Spirit to speak to you through, essentially, daydreaming.
What’s most important here is to be open to the promptings of the Spirit. Don’t try to dictate who you are in the scene or what you experience. Instead, try to let go and see what happens–do you find yourself cast as a Pharisee? Are you too distracted to listen to Jesus? Are you afraid to approach him?
Throughout the meditation, I ask a lot of questions. Ignore them if they don’t help. Definitely don’t feel the need to figure out your answer to every question. The idea here is to immerse yourself so completely in the scene that you let go of yourself and allow the Spirit to speak to you. (You’re going to need speakers.) So set aside some time, get comfortable, silence your cell phone, and see what the Lord has to say.
After your meditation, take some time to process. Who were you in the scene? What emotions were you feeling? What did Jesus say to you? What look did you see in his eyes? Where did you go at the end? What does all this mean?