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Thread: Help: Guided Imagery and the Christian

  1. #1

    Help: Guided Imagery and the Christian

    My mom needs help. She's in for a long post-surgical haul.

    She needs help with physical healing, sleep, positive attitude-----U name it.

    Are guided imagery tapes ok for a Christian? It's like postitive mind/visualization bootcamp.

    She already knows everything is in God's hands, but He gave us our mind and our mind helps us to heal or not, depending on what state it's in.

    Please advise me.
    Today's mighty oak is just yesterday's nut that held it's ground.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    New Zealand
    Blog Entries
    To be honest I see no reason for your mum to need these tapes. She is already doing what needs to be done by knowing God is in control of her surgery. I don't know much about the guided imagery and what it entails but to me it is not needed for your mum. The best thing you can do for her is pray and read the bible for scripture relating to her situation and to above all keep trusting God - I find psalm 91 is very good for helping me trust God in any situation.

    This is just my opinion though but I pray it helps you make a decision on this.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Central California
    Guided imagery is not for the born again believer. It is New Age and demonic. Please do not allow them near her. Prayer is your best bet, and the medical help that she is receiving.

  4. #4

    Define "Guided Imagery"...

    It depends on what you mean by use of the term "guided imagery". At its most fundamental level, the term means just what the two words refer to - the visualisation of images based on a specifically established guide.

    To begin with: guided imagery is fundamentally and significantly different from hypnosis. Whereas hypnosis involves an outside individual overriding ones ability to exercise the power of free choice in terms of what they're thinking (and thus is a serious no-no in terms of being able to "take every thought captive in obedience to Christ", 2 Corinthians 10:5), guided imagery is more like daydreaming, in that one is completely aware of what they're thinking, and thus also fully capable of deciding what they do and don't allow into their minds.

    At the same time, guided imagery is a little more focused than mere daydreaming, in that what one "sees" in their mind is loosely guided by a verbal description of sorts. It can be a story that unfolds (e.g., "imagine yourself walking down a path, and you come to a fork in the road. Today, you decide to take the right path, and it takes you past a playground of children..." and so on), or the replaying of a recent event in ones life (e.g., "think back to the fight you had with your girlfriend the other day... try to remember how you felt in that moment..."), or even a passage of Scripture (e.g., "Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I go up to the heavens, You are there..." from Psalm 139).

    Whatever the basis for the scenario being shared for the person to imagine, the point of guided imagery is to allow the person to imagine what the scenario being presented looks like to them, after which they can reflect on their feelings, what they imagined, and what it might mean to them, et cetera.

    I did this with a small church group awhile back. I had them relax, close their eyes, and reflect on the words of Psalm 139 (the whole thing, including the "oh, how I hate those who hate You" part). I read the passage 3 times out loud, and when I was done reading, I then gave them 10 minutes to just sit/lie quietly and reflect on the words of Scripture - to "see" if any part of the passage struck them in a particular way: an image, a word that really stood out, et cetera. Then we got back together and those who wanted to shared their experiences. As people shared, we went back to Scripture to see what insights we could glean from God's Word about what we were learning. It was a very powerful experience for many of us.

    As far as your mom's situation goes: I fully agree that prayer and faith will be key elements to her healing. But I've also found that guided imagery - particularly the "visualisation" of passages of Scripture - is a good tool to both enhance prayer and deepen faith. Incidentally, it's part of what the Hebrew word for "meditate" means - to "murmur" and "ponder" (see Psalm 1:2). Perhaps finding select passages of Scripture (e.g., ones that address God's healing power and His love for the weak and weary, or even Bible verses that mean a lot to your mom) and having someone read them out loud to her (either in person or on a recording) while she relaxes and reflects on them, might be of some help.

    All this being said, the key thing to remember about making proper use of guided imagery is ensuring that the participant(s) have complete use of their power of choice in what they think. For example, in another situation where I used guided imagery with a group, one of the members "stopped" at one point in the story to focus on a detail I had shared, and had to "catch up" later - she was in complete control of what she was thinking the whole time. So be sure that, whatever source you use, you are always able to maintain control over your thoughts. If what you're using tries to get you to "surrender your thoughts" to whatever it may be, I'd avoid it.
    Last edited by preacher2911; May 18th 2009 at 11:58 PM. Reason: clarified wording

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