Visualization in Prayer

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presidente

Senior Member
May 29, 2013
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Maybe that's why it is important that our minds be conformed to His Word.

Romans 12:2 (NASB) And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. (visualize that)
And where does the word say not to visualize? And why are parts of scripture written in such a way to produce visualization in the mind of hearers or readers. Can you make sense of the tabernacle passages or Ezekiel's vision which has the cherubim without at least trying to visualize the passages?
 

presidente

Senior Member
May 29, 2013
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Back in the 70s there was a musical production group known as Scripture in Song. They wrote songs that were 100% scripture. They kept it simple and a lot of them were the psalms to music. Musically all you needed was a guitar and or a piano. The music was very pure and the songs inspiring. I am so sad that they were replaced by the heavy rock that we have today.
I found a playlist:

Skipping around a bit, I found one song I had heard in church back in the day. The songs are a bit of the 'lalalala' variety. That doesn't really get the meaning across as it does when I sing it in a high pitched voice. The songs, IMO, are a bit less musically interesting (to my ears) than some of the contemporary songs you mention which now happen to be accompanied by rock guitars-- or more often the non-distorted guitar ambient sound combined with a strong. I like the modern style personally. I also like many styles of old hymns. I like Gregorian chants. These 'lalalala' choruses from the '80's can have great lyrics, but the musical style isn't really my favorite. I can praise God to them.

It would be great if more scripture were put to different styles of music for praise music, IMO. I consider the musical style to be largely a matter of taste and the words that edify. If the music is appealing, I find that good. The psalmist said to play skillfully with a loud noise.

Some of the newer songs are actually rather good in terms of lyrics, and some of them do take lyrics out of scripture or have good doctrine. Much of the song 'The Blessing' comes right out of scripture, for example. Some of the songs will have generally good doctrine but have a few lines here and there that are questionable.
 

Blik

Senior Member
Dec 6, 2016
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My reply to that is that the god of this world has blinded her mind so that she cannot see the light of the Gospel of Christ.
I think there are people you are leading in your evil ways, or I would simply ignore you.

Christ spoke about the kind of thing that these people are doing when Christ explained to the multitude what His Father meant when he told people not to murder. Christ said don't even call people 'you fool". These people are so deep in their evil thoughts of new age and the occult they accuse others of speaking evil like they are speaking.
 

crossnote

Senior Member
Nov 24, 2012
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And where does the word say not to visualize? And why are parts of scripture written in such a way to produce visualization in the mind of hearers or readers. Can you make sense of the tabernacle passages or Ezekiel's vision which has the cherubim without at least trying to visualize the passages?
My point has been 'what is the source and impetus of the visualization?' Self or God's Word?
You are giving examples where it is God's Word.
 

presidente

Senior Member
May 29, 2013
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My point has been 'what is the source and impetus of the visualization?' Self or God's Word?
You are giving examples where it is God's Word.
Are you opposed to someone thinking of a picture of bread in their mind when they pray for daily bread?
 

crossnote

Senior Member
Nov 24, 2012
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Are you opposed to someone thinking of a picture of bread in their mind when they pray for daily bread?
No, I'm opposed to people who keep asking 'gotcha' questions on a Christian forum.
 

presidente

Senior Member
May 29, 2013
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No, I'm opposed to people who keep asking 'gotcha' questions on a Christian forum.
I was just trying to clarify where the areas of disagreement are and where there is agreement, not trying to ask a 'gotcha' question. What is your problem with someone praying and visualizing a world where God's will is done? What about picturing someone being healthy when they pray for someone to be healed? Do you think that is an evil thing to do?
 
Mar 17, 2021
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And where does the word say not to visualize? And why are parts of scripture written in such a way to produce visualization in the mind of hearers or readers. Can you make sense of the tabernacle passages or Ezekiel's vision which has the cherubim without at least trying to visualize the passages?
There is a vast difference from getting a mental picture of an object through a description of it, and visualizing a mental image of God and worshiping it.
 

presidente

Senior Member
May 29, 2013
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There is a vast difference from getting a mental picture of an object through a description of it, and visualizing a mental image of God and worshiping it.
If someone sees a mental picture when praying to God--for example if a figure shaped like a man on a sapphire colored throne, surrounded by rainbow light on a platform over eye- covered cherubim beside wheels in wheels, is it idolatry to pray with that image in mind? Why isn't such a thing written against in the holy scriptures?
 
B

Blackpowderduelist

Guest
There is a vast difference from getting a mental picture of an object through a description of it, and visualizing a mental image of God and worshiping it.
You have tried. there is no point. They just don't get it. One that creating an image of God is forbidden, imaginary or carved, and that prayer is not a platform for imposing our imagination on scripture and on God, but a time for him to inform our thinking. They insist on transcendental meditation. They will never be convinced other wise.
 

presidente

Senior Member
May 29, 2013
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You have tried. there is no point. They just don't get it. One that creating an image of God is forbidden, imaginary or carved, and that prayer is not a platform for imposing our imagination on scripture and on God, but a time for him to inform our thinking. They insist on transcendental meditation. They will never be convinced other wise.
'They insist on transcendental meditation' you say. Have you read 'Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor'? That is in the 10 commandments, too. Since I brought it up, let us look at the first of the... or first two of the... ten commandments, depending on how you count them.

Exodus 20
2 I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
4 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.
5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;

Notice the command is not against making images 'in your mind.' It is against making an actual graven image or likeness.

Now consider this passage from Ezekiel 1:
26 And above the firmament over their heads was the likeness of a throne, in appearance like a sapphire stone; on the likeness of the throne was a likeness with the appearance of a man high above it. 27 Also from the appearance of His waist and upward I saw, as it were, the color of amber with the appearance of fire all around within it; and from the appearance of His waist and downward I saw, as it were, the appearance of fire with brightness all around. 28 Like the appearance of a rainbow in a cloud on a rainy day, so was the appearance of the brightness all around it. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord.
(NKJV)

If someone reads this and pictures in his mind the throne, one who appeared like a man with the appearance of fire from the waist upward, with rainbow-brightness all around, is this idolatry?

Why doesn't Exodus 20 forbid imagining a picture when praying? Why does Ezekiel 1 contain this description using visual language which leads the reader to imagine what Ezekiel saw?

I do not try to picture God when I pray. I generally do not, except when I read a passage like this. I do not encourage others to try to picture what they think God may look like. But I cannot find any Biblical basis for condemning such a thing as idolatry. IMO, creating laws like this is akin to what the Pharisees were doing with their hedges about the Torah, creating their own burdens, restrictions, and traditions. I consider this to be in that category rather than the category of associating lust with adultery in Matthew 5 because it is implicit in other scripture, for example Ezekiel 1, leads the reader to have a picture in their mind of this type. Revelation has a more detailed description of Christ, also. The Pharisees erred by forbidding what was allowed and allowing what was forbidden.
 

CherieR

Senior Member
May 6, 2017
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I believe there is a big difference between having a picture of God in your mind verses worshipping that picture. Some people are very visual in thinking and some people think more in words than pictures.
 
B

Blackpowderduelist

Guest
I believe there is a big difference between having a picture of God in your mind verses worshipping that picture. Some people are very visual in thinking and some people think more in words than pictures.
We are not talking about thinking in visual context. We are talking about what the OP says. I know others have tried to make it about visual thinking style, but that is a derailment, and not what the conversation is about. If you read the OP, she is using the Lord's prayer as a form of visualization meditation.
I am sorry that you have had to read all this obfuscating side tracking. I don't know why people try to muddy up the water.
 

CherieR

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May 6, 2017
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We are not talking about thinking in visual context. We are talking about what the OP says. I know others have tried to make it about visual thinking style, but that is a derailment, and not what the conversation is about. If you read the OP, she is using the Lord's prayer as a form of visualization meditation.
I am sorry that you have had to read all this obfuscating side tracking. I don't know why people try to muddy up the water.
I did read the op and I don’t get the impression she is practicing new age with this. It would be different if one is trying to name and claim things or manifest blessings, but this is not my personal impression of her point of view. I get the impression that she didn’t word the op the best.
 
B

Blackpowderduelist

Guest
I did read the op and I don’t get the impression she is practicing new age with this. It would be different if one is trying to name and claim things or manifest blessings, but this is not my personal impression of her point of view. I get the impression that she didn’t word the op the best.
Ok, well we disagree on that point. But this is the way to discuss it.
I find statements like "Here is way to use visualization with the Lord’s Prayer: " and "open up a whole new spiritual world" to be the operative intention. Any way thanks for sharing how you understand the OP.
 

CherieR

Senior Member
May 6, 2017
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Ok, well we disagree on that point. But this is the way to discuss it.
I find statements like "Here is way to use visualization with the Lord’s Prayer: " and "open up a whole new spiritual world" to be the operative intention. Any way thanks for sharing how you understand the OP.
I can see where you are coming from as well.
 

presidente

Senior Member
May 29, 2013
6,495
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We are not talking about thinking in visual context. We are talking about what the OP says. I know others have tried to make it about visual thinking style, but that is a derailment, and not what the conversation is about. If you read the OP, she is using the Lord's prayer as a form of visualization meditation.
I am sorry that you have had to read all this obfuscating side tracking. I don't know why people try to muddy up the water.

A lot of her comments were not about visualizing. These were:
Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven: Visualize an earth with no sin in it!

Give us this day our daily bread: See the Lord as supervising what goes in our minds and our bodies.

Forgive us our debts: What power! Jesus is giving us righteousness that lets us live forever!
Are these sinful or bad things to do? What is wrong with this type of 'visualization'?

I think the issue some posters have with it is that they associate 'visualization' with New Age, moreso than the actual content of her post.
 
Mar 17, 2021
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If someone sees a mental picture when praying to God--for example if a figure shaped like a man on a sapphire colored throne, surrounded by rainbow light on a platform over eye- covered cherubim beside wheels in wheels, is it idolatry to pray with that image in mind? Why isn't such a thing written against in the holy scriptures?
Worshiping that image would be idolatry. We worship God who is invisible, with faith based in the Scriptures. Faith is the evidence of things not seen. If you are worshiping a humanoid figure on a throne, then you are worshiping a god that is not in the Bible, but one concocted in your imagination.
 
Mar 17, 2021
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Ok, well we disagree on that point. But this is the way to discuss it.
I find statements like "Here is way to use visualization with the Lord’s Prayer: " and "open up a whole new spiritual world" to be the operative intention. Any way thanks for sharing how you understand the OP.
The OP is using the word "visualization" to explain the mental picture of God while praying. I think that is the wrong use of the word, and this has caused the confusion. "visualization" is a New Age occult word to describe "visualising" something they want to receive or to take place in the future. For example, if I want a new motor car, I "visualize" it being parked in my drive with the expectation of receiving it. This is what some New Age "Christians" do. They "visualise" the answer to their prayer as they name and claim it.

I think that the OP would be less confusing if another word was found to describe what is actually meant.
 
B

Blackpowderduelist

Guest
The OP is using the word "visualization" to explain the mental picture of God while praying. I think that is the wrong use of the word, and this has caused the confusion. "visualization" is a New Age occult word to describe "visualising" something they want to receive or to take place in the future. For example, if I want a new motor car, I "visualize" it being parked in my drive with the expectation of receiving it. This is what some New Age "Christians" do. They "visualise" the answer to their prayer as they name and claim it.

I think that the OP would be less confusing if another word was found to describe what is actually meant.
I think the op was deliberate in her verbage. " Open up new spiritual world" states the motive