Praying to the One we cannot see.
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I recently learned something that was amazing to me. I did not know that many people think in words. My thinking is made up of pictures. When I speak, I spend time working out words to match my pictures. It never occurred to me that there are people that think in words and have difficulty visualizing a conversation. Although most people think with both words and images, if asked they can express which part of their thinking process is dominant. I even learned that some people do not dominantly think in either of these ways but with abstract images or numbers instead. The concept that people think differently, not just about issues and ideas, but literally have a whole different process going on inside their heads, blew my mind. No wonder it is sometimes difficult to express our ideas to other people.
Thinking in pictures was a roadblock to prayer for me. I found it difficult to pray to a God with no pictures. Artwork depicting Jesus was not necessarily anything like Him. I did not want to visualize anything that was not actually God because it felt like a form of idolatry. Sometimes I’d look at things like the cloud in this photograph and think about God’s love for us, but I knew that the cloud was not God. Actually, the cloud was a fleeting object that would change shapes until it dissipated completely. Very ungodlike! This object, like many others, helped me think about God, but it quickly became inadequate.
“Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.”
I Timothy 1:17
Most of the words we have describing God are abstract. I have learned over time to visualize the meaning of each word. Now when I pray, I begin with thanking and praising God for all of the things His Word says He is. I imagine each concept separately and then have a broader portrait of God in my mind as the concepts come together. The more I learn about who God is, the better my prayer life becomes. Hopefully this will help some of you as well, as you pray to the invisible God.
Text and Photo Copyright Richelle Hecker