My spiritual grandmother (who taught me How to Study the Bible) had a very active prayer life. And one thing this Episcopalian Bible teacher mentioned to me once about her prayer time regarded the use of imagination in prayer. As we sat in together in her living room, this lively woman who was probably about 91 at the time told me, “I have a very active imagination!” This was a woman who prayed for an hour every day, and had a coffee table filled with the pictures of her family for whom she prayed. She could see the faces of each one there on her table, and pray for them by name.
I wonder what she imagined, what things she saw with the eyes of faith in God before they became an earthly reality.
I have found the use of imagination in my times with the Lord can help me further absorb the truth.
As referenced in my post on Natural Notes, I often use hand-written journaling to process the issues I’m facing. It’s extremely effective.
And sometimes, I also draw pictures in my journal, a kind of Imagination Meditation, as a way to further absorb the truths of God’s Word into my own being. Could it be that seeing myself in the Scripture could reinforce its truth within my mind and spirit?
Psalm 91 Word Study
This week I found myself in Psalm 91 and upon reading the first verse, launched into a word study to dig deeper into the meaning of this Scripture. This led to a word study on verse 2 as well.
Psalm 91:1-2 states:
“He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.” (KJV)
I looked up the original words for the English words here translated as dwelleth, secret place, abide and shadow.
What did this verse really mean? And what might it mean for me to accept the truths therein for myself?
I went from reader to investigator to meditator, all in one sit-down session.
First, I looked up the words to get a better understanding of the meaning here.
- “dwelleth” - means to sit, inhabit, to endure, to stay
- “secret place” – means a covering, a hiding place
- “abide” – means to lodge, to tarry, to rest
- “shadow” – means a shade, a shadow, and can symbolize protection and refuge
Wow. That is good stuff. (The goodness of God’s Word is like an infinite well whose riches we can never fully tap…but oh what blessings await if we will but start with just a dip at the eternal fount!)
Now having a better awareness of what the text actually meant, I then decided to draw a picture that would help me realize the truths more fully. If God was offering me this truth – a promise for me – what if I pictured myself in them in a drawing? Maybe that would help me enter into the truth more fully.
I drew a picture using my interpretation on this text according with how it might apply to me. Here’s what I sketched out (don’t laugh…my drawing skills are not the most highly refined…but it’s the point of the exercise that counts!)
In case you have trouble seeing this on the computer screen, what I did was use some of the definition terminology I discovered and put myself abiding in a house, finding my refuge in God and His shelter! I am reclining in a chair surrounded by the words that express my part: dwelling, sitting, resting, to inhabit, endure, stay, abide, lodge, tarry.
Oh, what if we were to tarry with God…in His secret place? Ah, the rest we might know that has thus far seemed elusive.
Verse 3 of that same chapter offers additional promises, and states:
“Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence.” (KJV)
Guess what the original word for deliver means?
Oh, this is soooo good!
The Word Study dictionary informed me that “often deliverance [indicates] the power of one entity overcoming the power of another.” HA! YES! That is MY GOD who delivers us – and will deliver YOU if you will let Him! A deliverance that doesn’t just take you out of the pit but gives you the ability to overcome the power of that which has intended ill against you! YESSSSS!!!
I decided to draw this out too (see below).
You can see in the picture I’ve lassoed, by the overcoming power of God, my Deliverer, the snare of the fowler (represented by the top right bird trapping cage) and the noisome pestilence (represented in the top left by a cloud of germs). Since God gives me the power to overcome these things, I’ve lassoed them in red and drawn out in green the things I expect instead! You can see I’ve used symbols including a free-flying bird, a good bill of health, and participation in physical activities / exercise.
What a place of victory!
If we are God’s children*, then we can know this place of deliverance the Psalmist references.
Have you tried using your imagination for meditation upon the Biblical truths found in God’s Word?
Whether you write it down on paper, or simply visualize the truth in your mind, I highly recommend Scriptural meditation!
*Want to be part of God’s family so you can experience a deliverance that endures for eternity? Learn more more on my page about Eternity.