Arts & Faith: Advent—First Sunday Imaginative Prayer Exercise (Cycle A)

Arts & Faith: Advent series logoEach week of Advent, we’ll provide an Ignatian prayer for you, inspired by a video from Arts & Faith: Advent.The video and prayer for the First Week of Advent, Cycle A, is based on Isaiah 2:1-5.

“The mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established as the highest mountain.”

—Isaiah 2:2


As we begin this time of quiet prayer, I invite you to find a comfortable place to sit with your back straight and your legs planted on the ground. Allow yourself to notice your breathing as you breathe normally. Breathe in. Breathe out.

Take a few moments and close your eyes, preparing yourself to listen to what God may be saying to you during this prayer. As you sit with your eyes closed, use these or similar words: “Here I am, Lord. Here I am.” When you are ready, open your eyes and pray.

The Mountain of the Lord’s House

Imagine you are climbing up the mountain of the Lord. As you start the path is wide with beautiful trees and flowers along the way. You fill your lungs with the cool, clean air. As you continue you notice the path is becoming narrow and steep. There seem to be more rocks sticking up from the ground. You find yourself a little out of breath as the air becomes thinner the higher you climb. You decide to rest on a large rock to catch your breath. You look up the path to see how much more you need to climb. You see someone in the distance. He’s looking at you. It looks like his hand is waving for you to come. Though you are alone, you are not afraid. In fact, you feel a pull, a desire to go this person.

You are standing in front of him. He is dressed in long robes that are moving gently in the mountain air. He smiles at you and asks, “What are you seeking on this path?” What do you say to him? What are you seeking?

“I am the prophet Isaiah. This is the mountain of the Lord. It is rich with life and dreams. What dreams do you bring to this place?” What are the dreams you bring to this mountain? What are your dreams that you want to share with the Lord?

Isaiah looks at you with eyes that know how to dream. “My dreams beat swords into plowshares. They are dreams of peace, of life, of hope.” What are the swords in your heart that need to be changed? What are the swords that wound you and hold you back from dreaming and from climbing the mountain of the Lord? Give those swords to Isaiah, the prophet, the dreamer. Ask him to help you change them into something life-giving.

“I will change your swords into plowshares so you can till the soil of your soul and know that God is with you. Are you ready for this dream to be real?” You look into the eyes of this dreamer, Isaiah, and you say, Yes. Yes, I am ready. Isaiah smiles at you and takes your hand in his. He looks at you with eyes filled deep with hope and life. He understands you. “Come,” he says, “let us walk in the light of the Lord!”

Concluding Prayer

Glory be to the Father,
and to the Son,
and to the Holy Spirit.
As it was in the beginning,
is now, and ever shall be,
world without end.


  1. I am spellbound. Recently, I have had some very strong misgivings about my own place in time and purpose for being. I am a strong prayer but I still felt like I was missing some important connections. This 1st Sunday reading and reflection have opened a wonderful path for me to follow over these weeks of Advent. I look forward to going deeper into my spirituality and have hope of finding yet another dimension of God’s love which is always present for everyone. I think Kathy said it well, I have been ‘homesick’ too.

  2. Just so simple yet powerful exercise.irealized how homesick I am for God our father and all the genuine peace and deep love that is here and also waiting for me.

  3. A very descriptive and thought provoking meditation…thank you for offering these gems. I am grateful to start this advent with the insights you’ve provided.

  4. Thank you so very much. I look forward to these thought-provoking reflections during Advent. “Let us walk in the light of the Lord!”

  5. This was a very helpful reflection for me. Very rich in meaning and invitation. I know I’ll spend the rest of the day considering what swords I wield that need to be transformed into something life-giving. And pray for the willingness to loosen my grip so that the transformation can unfold. Thank you.


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