One of the most common problems with Christians in our modern secularized world is that they don't feel the reality of Jesus. Sure, they believe in him and love him, but he somehow doesn't seem to enter their daily lives in a real sense. Some might say, "You ought to pray more." Others would advise, "You ought to witness more." While this may be true, we don't get closer to God just because we "ought to."
Boyd believes that the way to true spiritual transformation and feeling the presence of God in your life comes from a little R and R: rest and reality. Boyd encourages readers to stop striving and learn to rest in an experience of Jesus as real. The best way to do this, he says, is through imaginative prayer. Experiencing Jesus will teach readers how to use God's gracious gift of creative imagination to know him better and feel his presence in their daily lives.
Gregory A. Boydis senior pastor of Woodland Hills Church of St. Paul, Minnesota. He is the author of eleven books, including the best-selling Gold Medallion award winner, Letters from a Skeptic.
Boyd, author of Letters from a Skeptic and God of the Possible, makes a
powerfully persuasive argument for the use of imaginative prayer by
Christians, then outlines a method for beginning the practice. He begins by
describing the paralyzing effect of the " `try harder' solution" for spiritual
growth. His description of this futile striving and its source in false ideas
of identity rings true, although occasionally his emphasis on the negative
role of action is overdone. The real treasure of the book is found in the
second and third sections, where he mines 15 years' experience of leading
imaginative prayer conferences. He provides a vivid description of the power
and effectiveness of the imagination in settings like prayer and worship. In
addition to a careful biblical basis, Boyd gives a survey of historical
figures (from Julian of Norwich to Saint Ignatius and John Wesley) who have
used and advocated imaginative prayer. He explains the basic idea of the
prayer technique he calls "resting in Christ" and courageously offers his own
experience as an example of how this technique can bring healing. Aware that
visualization techniques can be controversial among evangelicals, he explains
possible sources of distrust and offers answers to the most common objections.
The final section illustrates the power of imaginative prayer for healing
with three moving stories from those who have used the technique. (Apr.)
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