Imagination and Praydreaming

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May we all grow in our creativity as we move from summer to autumn. May we exercise our imaginations in new ways. Here’s one for starters: praydreaming. Following is an explanation from Mark E. Thibodeaux, SJ, from his book, Reimagining the Ignatian Examen.

Ignatius was a master daydreamer. He could do it for hours on end. It was through daydreaming that Ignatius learned to determine God’s will for his life. He learned that God communicated God’s will through great desires for faith, hope, and love that welled up inside his heart and soul. By daydreaming in the context of prayer, Ignatius was able to allow those great desires to surface. Doing so would not only reveal God’s will but also would fire him up to have the necessary passion to perform these great works.

In my own Examen, then, I praydream—prayerfully daydream. I concretely imagine how I might approach the next twenty-four hours if I were to be God’s hands and feet and voice. I allow God to dream a dream within me of the wonderful ways I can be a channel of God’s faith, hope, and love for the world. These praydreams give me the wisdom and the passion to carry out God’s marvelous plans for me in the coming day.

I must confess, I don’t remember any religious authorities in my childhood encouraging me to daydream! But this makes perfect sense to me. If God created the imagination, don’t you suppose God means for us to use it? And don’t you think God wants us to bring the whole self to prayer—our intelligence, desires, problems, and daydreams?

  • When was the last time you daydreamed—I mean, really allowed your mind to wander where your heart was leading it?
  • When do you know you are daydreaming as opposed to obsessing or worrying or distracting yourself?
  • Have you found any ways to enhance your daydreaming? What puts you in a good space and mood to do this?

4 COMMENTS

  1. Vinita, this is a powerful tool in my prayer toolbox. I find praydreaming is essential to me in the process of discernment. It stops me dashing headlong into the first thing that comes into my head, and allows me the time to look at any decision from various directions. Sometimes confirming my decision, at others leading me to other options 🙏

  2. Thanks for the reminder. When I first discovered Ignatian Spirituality this ‘praydreaming’ was what attracted me, it was actually how I already prayed but didn’t know what it was or why. It seems like a lifetime ago so thank you for reminding me about this amazing way to pray, I think in praydreaming is when I felt closest to the Father, to Jesus and to the Holy Spirit. I always look for God-winks and before I opened my computer today I prayed for the Lord to be with me in all I do and to show me what he is hoping for me to do. Prayer answered! Thanks.

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