Advent Practices – Week 1 – Day 2
THEME: SAMPLING AND IMAGINING
BREATH PRAYER: LORD, HELP ME SEE WHAT YOU SEE AND IMAGINE WHAT WILL BE.
And Mary said, “My soul magnifies the Lord,
and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant.”
- In a journal, note the day, time, and place you’re sitting.
- Open with a few moments of silence. Rest, and breathe deeply.
- Complete the following sentence in your journal: Today, I feel ________________.
- Read the centering verse above slowly (aloud or silently).
Pause for a few moments of silence, then pray this week’s breath prayer.
For a short form of this exercise, follow the prompts in italics.
In Sunday’s sermon, we were challenged to use our “prophetic imagination.” We do this through a few simple steps:
- See the world as it really is.
- Imagine God’s kingdom as it really will be.
- Bridge the gap between the two.
In today’s practice, we will enlist the use of imagery to help us engage our prophetic imagination.
Scan the images below and choose one of them that resonates with you. This will be the image you use for the rest of this exercise.
STEP 1 – SEE THE WORLD AS IT REALLY IS
- Why do you think that this image resonated with you?
- Is there anything about this image that you believe breaks God’s heart?
- Short Form: Choose one image above that grabs your attention. What emotions or thoughts arise as you look at it?
STEP 2 – IMAGINE GOD’S KINGDOM AS IT REALLY WILL BE
Imagine yourself entering into your image, standing and observing it personally. Now imagine that the Kingdom of God, in all its fullness and glory, has come to bear in the midst of this image.
- What do you see now? What changes would happen if God’s kingdom were to come in this situation?
- What happens inside of you when you visualize the Kingdom of God coming to bear in this image?
- Short Form: What is it about this image that doesn’t line up with the goodness of God’s Kingdom? What could change about the image for it to reflect the fullness and glory of God’s Kingdom?
STEP 3 – BRIDGE THE GAP BETWEEN THE TWO
If your heart was stirred with compassion as you imagined God’s Kingdom breaking into your image, recognize that this stirring is more than your own passions rising up within you. This stirring is a holy desire from God Himself. He is using your passions to work within you! In light of this amazing reality, get quiet and ask these questions of your Heavenly Father:
- Lord, what are the broken places in my own world that remind me of this image?
- If the Lord brings something to mind, ask Him, “Lord, is there a part you would have me play in bringing your Kingdom to bear in this broken place?”
- Short Form: Is there somewhere you might come across a form of this problem in the next 24 hours? If so, pray and ask God how He might have you respond.
In your journal, write down a few notes about what the Lord showed you and how you might respond.
Summary: Write in your journal a brief summary (five sentences or less) of your practice.
Closing: Lord, help me see what You see and imagine what will be.