Sanctified Imagination

In prayer, it is easy to feel like we are just speaking to the air. Though we know that our prayers are heard, it can be difficult to keep our hearts and minds engaged. Often times, people try to empty their minds of thoughts and their hearts of emotion; and this is actually what Eastern Religion teaches in meditation. Jesus teaches, however, that He alone is the source of life. Eternal life and true peace will not be found in “nothingness,” but is found in relationship with God.

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. - John 15:6

The Lord has given us His very own spirit, who dwells within. Those who put their faith in Jesus have been born again, born of the spirit. This means that I am in Christ and He is in me; my spirit is knit together with the spirit of God. The Lord has flooded our hearts and minds with the person of the Holy Spirit who is the spirit of Jesus who is the Son of the Father. So now my emotions are able to feel God’s emotions and my mind is able to think God’s thoughts. This leads us back to staying engaged in prayer. Through the Spirit, the word now comes alive in prayer as we are connected with the Living God. We can now experience the person of Christ.

The Lord wants to move through our imagination. He has created us with an amazing ability to create worlds of wonder within our minds.  When we are awake and when we sleep there is an ongoing conversation happening within each person. We were made for continual fellowship with God. He wants to be the center of this ongoing conversation and to fill our imagination with Truth. This practically looks like taking the word of God and inviting the Holy Spirit to help us experience it. I put myself in the story and consider what all my senses would experience if I were physically there. The two primary scenes that I come to, is the cross and the throne of God. It is by the work of the cross that I have access to fellowship with God and it is in the court of Heaven that my voice is heard.

“Significantly at this point, Whitefield encourages the use of imagination as we read the Bible. He declares, “Fancy yourselves… To be with Mary sitting at the feet of the holy Jesus; and be willing to learn what God shall teach you, as Samuel was, when he said, ‘Speak Lord for thy servant heareth’” (381). For developing imagination, our best teachers are children. Their eagerness to listen and learn is a critical quality as we approach the Word with a desire to grow as Jesus’ disciples. Further, the purpose of this sanctified imagination is to personalize our reading. The passages we read were intended not only for people in earlier generations; they were written to us today.”  - by Tom Schwanda, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Christian Formation & Ministry, Wheaton College

 

Written by Zack Roberts

ember prayer room | norman, oklahoma