By Levi Warren 

Begin with prayer

Gather together as a Community in a comfortable setting. Take a moment in silence, in the presence of Jesus and each other. Have one person read Galatians 5v25-26 over the group and then pray to ask the Holy Spirit to lead and guide your time together. 

Debrief the most recent teaching

  1. What did you take away from the teaching, and what has God been doing in your life this past week because of it? 

Read this overview

Sometimes, as adults, we can think of using our imaginations as beneath us or foolish. Or we think of our imaginations as unreliable, even impure at times. But the truth is, God is the one who created our imaginations, and he is working to transform us by the renewing of our minds (Romans 12v2), imaginations included! Imaginative Prayer is a way in which we can experience the nearness of Jesus, hear from his Spirit, and visualize the reality of his in-breaking Kingdom.  

Discuss the following questions and prompts

  1. What has been your experience, if any, with Imaginative Prayer?
  2. If Imaginative Prayer is new to you, what do you feel nervous about when practicing it? What excites or intrigues you about it?

Talk over this coming week’s Practice:

This week, as you continue to listen and pray for each member of your community, you will incorporate Imaginative Prayer into your practice. Be sure to find a comfortable spot free from distractions, then invite the Holy Spirit to speak to you and guide your thoughts as you pray.  

As you pray for each person, consider whether they have a specific prayer need (for wisdom, provision, healing, etc.). If they don’t, just listen to the Spirit on their behalf. Remember, God has given you your imagination, and he delights in speaking to you. 

As you pray for a particular person, imagine they are seated in a room. Paint a clear picture of the scene in your mind. What is the room like? What senses are being stirred? What are the sights and sounds around you? 

As you focus on the person seated in the room, imagine that Jesus enters, coming to stand beside them. As he does, ask Jesus how he wants to meet that person’s need(s) or what he wants to say to them. Then, picture Jesus reaching out his hand and placing it on their shoulder. When Jesus does this, imagine that love and compassion radiate from him into the person you’re praying for so they can feel his presence and nearness.

If you know of a specific need, pray into it and let your mind craft a picture of Jesus answering the prayer. For instance, if the person needs healing, you could imagine that Jesus’ love is like a light that washes through the person’s body, removing any pain or disease and bringing wholeness. If the person needs wisdom about a decision, you could imagine that Jesus is closing certain doors while opening the right one the person needs to go through. There is no one specific scene you must create when doing Imaginative Prayer. Each of us has been gifted with different minds and ways of imagining, so work with your Spirit-given imagination to picture Jesus answering the prayer in whatever creative way seems best. 

If you’re praying for someone who doesn’t have a specific need, ask what Jesus wants to say to them. You could imagine Jesus leaning in close and speaking to them or writing something down and handing them a note. However you imagine it, ask that Jesus be clear in his communication. Remember, Jesus wants to strengthen, encourage, and comfort his people. A good way to judge if something you hear for someone might be from the Spirit is if it does those things – strengthens, encourages, and comforts. If you feel that Jesus wants to say something specific to that person, make a note of it, and then be faithful to share it in humility and love. 

End your time by thanking Jesus, saying he is near and listens to your prayers.          

Close in prayer

End by having someone read this prayer over the group:

Grant us, our merciful Father, that your Divine Spirit may enlighten, inflame, and purify us, and make us fruitful in good works, through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who with you, in unity with the Spirit, lives and reigns as one God, forever and ever. Amen.