Moyo Resources

Explore tools for critical reflection and spiritual practices to deepen your experiences.

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Praying the Encounter

Praying the Encounter

Put yourself into the story.

This prayer practice is based on the contemplative method described by Ignatius of Loyola (1491-1556). Ignatius recommended a sort of virtual experience of scripture where one reads a scripture passage and then creates in the mind a “short film” visualization about what’s just been read—imagining the situation in detail and observing it from a perspective that is uniquely yours.

In this practice, you “enter into the story” in order learn more about it and participate more fully in it, as an agent of God’s loving presence.

Rather than praying scripture in this way, we invite you to “pray your encounter” instead. If we accept that each encounter represents a situation infused with the presence of God (as you understand God), then each situation becomes a kind of sacred text that we are invited to engage with much in the same way as we would engage with sacred scripture.

Use your imagination to enter into the encounter, ask yourself ...

  • What do I see and hear? What do I smell, taste, or touch?
  • Who are the characters and what’s going on with them?
  • Where do I see myself in the midst of what has been described? What is my role in the problem? in the solution?
  • Where do my spiritual role models fit into the story? Where do I see God’s presence? Where am I failing to see God’s presence?

Giving free rein to our imagination, we become both watchers and participants in the story. We feel the heat of the sun, smell the dust as we walk along, and sense the desperation of those affected by the issue under consideration. By placing God (as we understand God) as well as our spiritual role models in the situation, they are allowed to “come alive to us” and offer insights and answers to the things we find most troubling as well as suggest options for the best way for us to respond.