Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Thursday, May 23, 2019
Can I Pray This Way?
What a question! As I consider praying in the Ignatian way, I remember the times I vividly experienced this way of prayer. Contemplative, imaginative, experiential prayer. But—will it work for me, this time?
I must admit up front: I am afraid. I am afraid that nothing will happen, this time. I am afraid of not paying sufficient attention to this type of prayer. I am afraid of being far from God. I am afraid my mind is so cluttered and full of chatter that I will not be able to focus. And, I am afraid that my heart is not right with God. This time.
Father Timothy mentions a woman who has similar fears and anxieties over praying in the Ignatian way, too. She follows those fears with: “When I reflect on the meaning of the Scripture, I have the sense that something will surface….there will be some little hold that allows me to enter the surface of the text and go in.”  I appreciate this woman’s witness to her experience.
Yes, I can pray. I do pray, in a conversational manner. I honestly enjoy talking with God! Except—it goes in cycles. I need to take this woman’s advice. She recommends patience and trust. I need to patiently try, try, and try again to work on Ignatian prayer.
Perhaps I ought to take the suggestions right here. One woman mentions a simple thing for her to imagine is the weather.  I realize the Bible does not go into depth, in terms of description. However, using Godly imagination with what I know of the weather in the area of Palestine is definitely a place to start.
Also, using as many senses as I can is a good suggestion. What can I hear from this passage? What do I see? Are there any smells? Can I taste anything? These are all places for me to start to begin Ignatian contemplation. Even if I am afraid of having my prayer stall out.
Dear Lord, thank You for providing different ways to approach You. You want above all to be in communication with Your children. It doesn’t matter how we do it, just that we do it regularly. Help me to come to You with Ignatian prayer and contemplation, even though I am afraid. Amen.
Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.
 Meditation and Contemplation: An Ignatian Guide to Praying with Scripture, Timothy M. Gallagher, OVM (United States of America: Crossroad Publishing, 2008), 41.