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  • Ignatian Prayer

Ignatian Contemplation

Updated: May 3, 2020




This is a way to pray using your imagination. God gave us the gift of imagination, and He can use it to speak to us. Most simply imaginative prayer is using our imagination to meet God, and let him speak to us. As you pray, pay attention to your feelings and emotions, such as fear, happiness, joy, hope, peace, faith, love. Read through it, and use the steps as you try this prayer the first time. If you feel like changing something, or doing it your own way that feels better, go for it. Don’t worry about “doing it right.” Follow whatever leads you closer to God, and to his healing, mercy, love, faith, and hope.


  1. Choose a story from the Bible that you want to read, especially a story about Jesus’ life, like Him healing somebody

  2. Get into a comfortable position, whether this is sitting down, lying down, or kneeling, whatever is most comfortable for you. Then take a minute or so to simply relax. Focus on your breathing, breathing deeply and slowly.

  3. Before you read the story, say a short prayer to God. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you, and also ask for what you really want and pray that God will give you whatever you most need. Perhaps it is to know of God’s love, or His forgiveness, or to be able to have strength to endure difficult times. Be honest with Him.

  4. Then read the story once. After you read the story, close your eyes and imagine the scene, like a movie. Think about these things to help you:

  5. First, what do you see around you? How many people are there? What do they look like? Are you in the world today, or imagining yourself in Jesus’ world?

  6. What do you feel? Is it hot or cold outside? Are you close to people or far away?

  7. What do you smell, or taste?

  8. Then read the story one more time. Now put yourself in the scene. Are you the person being healed? Are you Jesus’ friend? Are you just watching? Don’t worry about trying to do the “right thing”, just let yourself imagine.

  9. Now, imagine seeing Jesus. What is he saying? Is he talking to other people? What do you feel when you see Jesus? Are you excited? Nervous? Do you want Him to talk to you? What is He like with other people? Pay attention to your feelings in your heart.

  10. Next, imagine that Jesus turns to you, and starts speaking with you. Imagine His compassion. Imagine Him healing you. Again, what do you feel in your heart?

  11. Finally, take some time to talk to Jesus. Tell Him what you want, what you are grateful for, how you are feeling. And let Him speak to you in your imagination.

  12. End with a short prayer, and thank God for His gifts



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