Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Praying New

I must tell you that this last week has been a great journey in prayer for me. With the help of Richard Foster's Celebration of Discipline I have discovered praying with imagination. Let me explain.

He uses the example of praying for a husband and wife and their marriage. The husband has been having an affair for some time and it has become public. You commit, he says, to pray for their marriage over the next thirty days. Using you imagination to pray for their marriage. You imagine that every time the husband sees the woman with whom he has had an affair he is filled with disgust. You imagine that when he sees his wife he is overwhelmed with love for her and wants to do everything he can to mend their broken relationship. You see them able to laugh together again, you hear them discussing hurt feelings, you imagine the pain of the affair being taken away.

I decided to try this new type of praying out. Kayla has been a pain in the rear, Tanya has had enough, and when I get home I feel the stress in both Kayla and Tanya. It has not been good. In fact, it had grown to a point that I was feeding off it too. Late one night I prayed with my imagination. I saw Kayla waking up without screaming while beating on the door she can't open yet. She was filled with contentment and ready to discover another part of her world. I felt the joy that Tanya felt when she would see Kayla in the morning when she got up. I saw the smile on her face. I imagined that breakfast and lunch were pleasant without whining and asking for "appi" (apples) all the time. I went through the whole day imagining what I prayed for. It was actually hard to do. And it took a long time to do it! But, when I came home asking how the day was, I knew the answer already because I had already felt it and imagined it before it happened. It is unlike anything I had experienced before.

When I told Tanya how I had prayed, she was encouraged. I told her that I was happy to work with God that day to make the day go so well. That is how I look at it. I am working together with God through my imagination to bless others. Wow! That is what it means to be "God's fellow workers" (1 Cor 3:9). I can't wait to tell other stories of how God and I have worked together to bless others. Until then...may God give us wisdom.

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