How it started

In Prison - “I met Jesus and asked him into my life!

These meditations are based on st Ignatius’ Imaginative Contemplation or Ignatian Meditation. Following a few retreats at st Beunos Ignatian Spirituality Centre, I had an encounter with a prisoner in 2006 which encouraged me to try this type of prayer.

I was asked by the prisoner, “I’ve never been to church and I don’t know anyone who’s been to church – how do you pray?” I replied “You simply speak to God in your mind.” She said “I’ve tried that –it doesn’t work!

So I explained that Ignatian meditation is a way of using our imagination to keep our focus on God so that it is easier to speak and to listen in prayer. She asked if we could try it and I did a short meditation with her. At the end of the prayer I asked if it had been helpful, to which she replied “I met Jesus and asked him into my life!

Over the coming weeks and months it became clear that she was experiencing the Holy Spirit at work in her life, changing her behaviour and bringing her hope and peace. She was delighted at the idea of putting her story on this website.

Another young lady who asked me “Who is Jesus – he’s big in America isn’t he?” asked to do the meditation. At the end she said “The weird thing was that although I didn’t know Him, He has always known me”. Several months later she said that her faith was now the most important thing in her life.

She recently tried the pilot recording for this website and emailed “I have just tried your Meditation recording! It's amazing. thank-you sooo much for sending. The particular meditation you sent, I think is perfect and I can use this when I need to. I remember very well when we first did the Ignation meditation and it was very powerful for me. I remember feeling all the worlds burdens being lifted from me and all the fear. Of course, you can put my experience on the website! I think its a great idea and can help lots of people.”

I have used this type of prayer extensively and have seen people benefitting in a variety of ways. Here are some of the comments that people have allowed me to share having listened to the pilot recording for this website:

Agnostic non-church goer (young woman in her twenties)

First of all thank you for sharing! I was reduced to tears. I feel like something very powerful, gentle and beautiful has come through this message. It got to the bit where you said "what would you like to say to Him?" And I could see it all in my mind. I could visualise Him there. And I was saying Thankyou Thankyou Thankyou! And also....sorry for being so dumb and so slow! And when it came to His response I just felt this overwhelming sense of love and enjoyment and laughter. I was expecting some wise words or bible verses or something. But no. I cried so much my mascara ran down my face. Lol! Thank you for sharing that with me it's truly beautiful.

Atheist non-church goer (young woman in her twenties)

I listened to TakeTime and it was brilliant. Even though I am atheist I listened and when you were asking me to talk to Jesus I did in my own way, I spoke to myself about my problems and when I was listening for Jesus' reply I was so relaxed that my mind could make sense of my problems and I felt that my subconscious could speak clearly and rationalise some of the problems I had. I thoroughly enjoyed it, thank you 🙂

Agnostic Non-church goer (nineteen year old male)

I have never tried meditation before and I wouldn’t say I know much about religion. When the meditation began to tell me the story in relation to Jesus, I really enjoyed it as I never knew where to start with religion but this allowed me to just be part of the story without knowing much about the background of Jesus. A big fear for me is feeling judged about how much I know about religion that is why I don’t want to learn more but this was a nice controlled environment that really let me just take in the story and learn a little more at the same time. The meditation over all really was good, in the end I must say I did enjoy it and it did make me want to have another go and learn more about religion because it made me feel comfortable without having to feel intimidated by more knowledgeable people and a social event.

Other Comments received from traditional church goers

A very calm way to end a Saturday evening, thank you. I felt very peaceful. This could really help, being able to listen to the prayer in my own time and space.
I just listened to the link you sent with the relaxation exercise and it's brilliant, I love it!! I hope you don't mind but I shared it on my Twitter account it's so good and I don't think you need to change anything
As you will know it is not easy to express in words quite why Taketime is important to me. Perhaps the most important thing for me is that it is intensely personal at the same time as being surrounded by people in a safe place. Whereas the Sunday service is an act of shared worship with the opportunity to learn and share together, Taketime provides a space to develop a personal relationship with Jesus, most importantly an opportunity to listen. Many would say that we can speak to God and listen in our own homes or perhaps while walking in the countryside and this of course is true. What I find so helpful about Taketime is that it provides a focus and keeps me on track so that during the rest of the week I am more likely to talk and listen with Jesus at specific times and also at odd moments of quietness. I often find that the conversation continues and that I can share it with loved ones.
I find I wince a bit when I hear people talking about how they ‘know Jesus’.
We can’t ‘know’ Jesus, in the sense of knowing who he was, what he looked like, or how he came to his extraordinary vocation of teaching, healing and ministry.
We only know he left a legacy which resonates, still, today, in the stories and parables of the gospels.
I went to TakeTime to be still, to be quiet, and to listen to that ‘still, small voice’ which the distraction and busyness of life drowns out.
I found that, by being still, and listening to these stories, I could, through my imagination, encounter the Man from Nazareth, hear his voice, hear him call me by name.
This is what he said to me.
My husband had been offered surgery which would be life-changing, but which, like all major surgery, carried risks. There was a relatively short window of opportunity for him to decide whether to have the op. Or not. Doing nothing seemed the safest option, but doing nothing also carried risks.
What to do? How to decide?
At TakeTime that week, I imagined myself, as we do each session, by the Sea of Galilee, the light on the water, the distant shouts of fishermen.
I hear the crunch of gravel, hear my name.
And this is what he said.
“The road” he said “will be hard and flinty. But I’ll hold your arm, walk with you, and give you my sandals to protect your feet.”
My husband went for surgery.
“What got me through” he said “was that image of the sandals.”
It got us both through. The road was hard, and flinty, but the surgery went well, and it was life-changing.