To Him who is able to do more than we could ever ask or imagine…
What if prayer is an invitation to imagine with God?
This verse seems to think imagining can be something of a prayer. Sometimes we can ask straight-out. We know what it is we need. Forgiveness. Daily bread. Wisdom.
But sometimes we pray – Your kingdom come, Your will be done – and if we’re honest, we admit we have very little idea what we’re asking for. The elusive kingdom made of mustard seeds and healed sick people… When we ask for it to come, do we even know what that would mean?
Walking through my neighborhood, I can almost hear the gathered groups singing and worshipping. Love between neighbors; justice spilling out in our interactions. It doesn’t exist yet, but it will one day I imagine.
Praying with a friend for her fractured, fighting family. I imagine the five of them bathed in Presence and forgiveness. They’re not there yet, but we weep with the vision of a family at peace.
I imagine who I could be, what I could’ve accomplished, how I can have changed in one year. In five. There are no words to describe the things I imagine I’m free from, the encounters I imagine I’ve braved. There is only hope inexpressible and I offer my imaginings upward. A groan too much for words.
Sir Ken Robinson defines imagination as “the power to see beyond the present moment and our immediate environment”*. If that’s imagination – isn’t all prayer imagination? Looking beyond what is to what could – and even should – be?
So I slip into prayer, sit down on the cold pew and close my eyes. And suddenly I am no longer there, on the hard wood. I hear a Whisper that pulls me to imagine with Him. To imagine a world in which swords have been bent into plowshares. To imagine two streets over, a young man finding grace and courage in the middle of despair. To imagine rescue coming to girls half a world away who’ve been kept and abused for far too long. I imagine my own heart – tuned irrevocably to the distant beat of the kingdom drawing closer.
And I offer all of this in a prayer to the One who can do so much more than I can even imagine.
*Out of Our Minds: Learning to be Creative