This week during our Lent Prayer session Revd John Henstridge led us through a guided meditation based on the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius
of Loyola. Ignatian spirituality encourages us to pray using our imagination. You use your imagination to place yourself in the gospel narrative using your senses and your emotions to draw closer to Jesus. Some of us attending the session found it easier to pray using our imaginations, others found it more difficult. St Ignatius recognised that some people may struggle with this method of prayer and meditation that we should “pray as you can, not as you can’t.” Praying is not just about asking God for things, it is about building a relationship. In 1 Chronicles 16 we read, “Seek the Lord and his strength, seek his presence continually.” St Ignatius’s method of prayer is a technique to help us build a closer relationship with God. If you would like to try it you could use the following websites to get you started, https://taketime.org.uk/ or https://pray-as-you-go.org/
Other ways you might like to renew your prayer life this Lent is by:
Being persistent—It’s ok to ask, ask again, and keep asking God until we see a change.
Being unpredictable—If you struggle to focus during times of prayer, try something more interactive: use dice and assign someone you want to pray for, roll the dice and spend a few minutes on the prayer assignment it gives you.
Alternatively take your prayers to the streets – go to a specific place in your area and pray over it.
Being Kind—Random acts of kindness are an easy way of making prayer practical and positive. It can move our focus away from our needs, and onto the needs of others.
I would like to add St Ignatius’s statement, “pray as you can, not as you can’t, but just pray.”