Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Colouring your Prayer

Here's another right-brain creative way of praying with colours that I've found both helpful and fun. "What? Prayer? Tsk!" I hear you say. Why not? When fellow fidget Sybil Macbeth was feeling  particularly  overwhelmed by friend and family prayer needs she stumbled across a simple method of drawing and colouring your prayer. No artistic ability needed whatsoever: if you can doodle you can bring your concerns before God this way. Simply draw a shape write the name of the person you're praying for inside this, add whatever embellishments, twiddly bits and colours you fancy, whilst holding the person in prayer. Repeat for the next person. Carry the picture with you in your pocket or just in your head and revisit your prayers during the day.

As the author says, this prayer style combines the  active, visual and meditative, "Active because you draw your prayers, visual because you see your prayers,
and meditative because you revisit your prayers throughout the day." I love it because although I'm fine with silence, and can come to physical stillness no problem, underneath I  struggle with the mental fidgets. I tend to live in my head overmuch,  easily filling  my prayer session with anything from planning my diary, writing the shopping list or worse still, worrying. 

Nor am I in any way  articulate either: what I call the "Dearly Beloved, we are Gathered Here," style of intercession doesn't work for me, and the alternative "Father God we just lift up Mrs Bloggs who is currently in Ward 4b, Bed 3  of St E's district with her, the surgeons, nurses and the ward cat.  Lord, we take dominion over the ingrowing toenail of our beloved sister in Christ...." and so on plain brings me out in a nervous rash!

Check out some inspiring  examples  at the Praying in Color site and blog. Doodling like this can easily be adapted to other aspects of prayer like Lectio Divina, discernment, reflection and simple sitting in God's presence. I've posted one of these last of my own here:


  1. Oh, I do agree with you about the types of intercession that bring one out in a nervous rash. I once heard someone pray for the "spirit of flu" to be cast out. And the ones that are really news bulletins - better make sure God knows the right bed number for Mrs Bloggs and better tell Him the complete diagnosis so He sends the right blessing... That's one reason I really warm to Sybil Macbeth's book (as well as the fidgeting stuff which applies to me too).

    Thanks for the link to her site which I hadn't come across before!

  2. Brilliant! Liberating! Wonderful! Thanks Greenpatches for linking to the Praying in Colour site. I found it a lovely way to pray - and it felt so meaningful (even if I did occasionally think that I was enjoying myself too much for it to be "real"!) I sometimes had the words for the person, but sometimes it was the colour or the shape that just seemed to fit.

  3. That's wonderful to hear! So glad you found it helpful Dormouse. It's this means of bypassing words, the self-censor that worries about "getting it right," and my need to produce and control that I find so liberating. Keep on doodling!


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