Imagination- it’s such a crazy and wonderful thing. Believe it or not, it is also a way of prayer.
Also called “Ignatian Contemplation” (in short… Ignatius is an old dude who talked a lot about theological stuff). In other spiritual practices “contemplation” can mean something very different but in this case it is God speaking to us through our imagination, one of the many gifts given. So not the removal of all thought kind of contemplation (also known as “Centering Prayer”) but rather the release of control and allowance for a flood of images.
When using a scripture, imagine the scene unfolding before you, then place yourself in the scene- God is speaking to you by making the stories of scripture to become personal experiences (in a way)- don’t worry if the scene goes off track a bit, after all with an inserted character (you), it can’t go exactly the same way.
Another way of prayer referred to as “imagination prayer” is when you are aware of what is blocking your relationship with Christ, but somehow words fail to express what you need to let go. Delve then into your mind, let the emotions and everything else take manifested form in your imagination. Then imagine a cross… or God… or really any other symbol that resonates with you. Take the manifested form of the block, be it a garbage bag that you’re dragging, all your suitcases (“baggage”), or for me it was an oily second skin covering me and almost suffocating me. Lay it at the insert resonating symbol here. For me, I didn’t fell like the cross was appropriate– I just imagined white pure space, almost making me feel guilty about leaving my oil there. The oil slipped off my body and I became clean– never the less the oil was still there, lying on the ground. Jesus came, with a bucket and a soapy rag- I initially started to bend down to clean up the mess myself but Jesus held out his hand to stop me. He bent and cleaned where the oil was.
Side note for a minute… when you take a rag and try to clean oil what happens… generally (at least at first) the oil just spreads around, not really getting clean just less concentrated.
When Jesus cleans the oil though the space becomes pure white again.