Praying the Scriptures: Imaginative Prayer

This is an approach to prayer that encourages you to enter into the story in your imagination, open to the God who longs to communicate with us.

  1. Open your mind and heart to God, praying that you might be open and attentive to anything God might want to say to you. Ask that your heart will be receptive and your will ready to obey. Read the passage through to remind yourself of the story.
  2. Now use your imagination to set the scene as vividly as you can. Use as many of your senses as you can: what would you hear? what would you see? what would you smell? who is in the scene? what are they doing? what is in the background? what is the emotional atmosphere like? Take time to let the scene unfold.
  3. Now let yourself become part of this scene. Without forcing anything, what are you drawn to in the story? Perhaps you particularly identify with one of the characters, and take that role. Perhaps you are a bystander, watching what is taking place. When you have found your place it is time to …
  4. Using the biblical story, allow the action to be played in your imagination. Now that you are part of the scene, notice how you find yourself responding – your thoughts, actions and feelings. It may be that the story unfolds a little differently to the biblical account. Notice what happens, as it may be significant. Do you find yourself interacting with Jesus? Is there anything you want to say to him, or ask him? Is there anything he seems to want to say to you, or ask you? Maybe a dialogue with Jesus, or another character, will unfold.
  5. When your imaginary journey through the story has come to an end, take time to think back over what happened and how you found yourself responding. It might be helpful to journal your reflections. Allow this to lead into prayer, as seems appropriate.


Here are some imaginative prayer exercises you could try:

1 Kings 19: 9-13

Mark 10


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