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Praying in Color

Purpose

To creatively express what is in your heart before God; prayers for yourself or others, emotions, Scripture, however you feel led.

Introduction

Sybil MacBeth describes Praying in Color as an active, meditative, playful prayer practice that is both process and product.[1] It is a visual and kinesthetic way of praying for people and connecting with God. It involves doodling, coloring, writing and expressing what is on your heart onto paper. It can be used together with other prayer practices, for instance Lectio Divina, prayers of Thanksgiving, prayers for remembering people, Scripture meditation, the Names for God, the Jesus Prayer, intercessory prayer, prayers for God’s guidance, personal mission statements, spiritual journeys, and the names of people to whom you need to make amends.

No artistic skill is required for this type of prayer. It is an outpouring onto paper of what is in your heart. There should be the total freedom to simply express in whatever form, what you are feeling, or wish to express prayerfully.

MacBeth describes why this type of prayer might work for you:

1) You want to pray but words escape you.

2) Sitting still and staying focused in prayer are a challenge.

3) Your body wants to be part of your prayer.

4) You want to just hang out with God but don’t know how.

5) Listening to God feels like an impossible task.

6) Your mind wanders and your body complains.

7) You want a visual, concrete way to pray.

8) You need a new way to pray.[2]

Additionally, the act of coloring is known to have a de-stressing effect, because when we focus on a particular activity, we focus on it and not on our worries. Therefore, it works very well as a relaxation technique. It also stimulates brain areas related to motor skills, the senses and creativity.[3]

Practice

With paper and coloring pencils on hand, orient yourself into a time of prayer either by reading or reciting a passage from scripture, saying a prayer, sitting in your chair and breathing for a minute or two, or by taking a couple of deep breaths. How is God leading you to pray?

Feel free to use whatever type of prayer you feel called to, this may be any of the ones described above for instance, writing out a passage from Scripture, it may be prayers for loved ones, or it may simply be drawing images that come to mind.

MacBeth also provides the following suggestions:

1) Write your name for God on a piece of paper. Draw a shape around it or just start to doodle. The drawing becomes a prayer space, a small prayer closet.

2) Add marks and shapes. Focus on the name you chose. Ask God to be part of your prayer time with or without words. If words come, pray them; if not, enjoy the silence.

3) To pray for a person, write their name on the page. Draw around it. Add color, if you want. Keep drawing as you release the person into God’s care.

4) Add other people to your drawing. Think of each stroke of your pen as a prayer for them. Take a breath or say “Amen” between each person.[4]

Remember

“A new prayer form gives God an invitation and a new door to penetrate the locked cells of our hearts and minds.”[5]

Resources

Sybil MacBeth. Praying in Color: Drawing a New Path to God.

www.prayingincolor.com

 


[1] MacBeth, Sybil. Praying in Color: Drawing a New Path to God. (Brewster: Paraclete Press, 2007), 5.

[2] Praying In Color: Welcome to a New Way to Pray. Last modified 2014. Accessed March 28, 2015.

prayingincolor.com

[3] Santos, Elena. “Coloring Isn't Just For Kids. It Can Actually Help Adults Combat Stress.” Huffington Post, October 13, 2014. Accessed March 28, 2015.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/10/13/coloring-for-stress_n_5975832.html

[4] prayingincolor.com

[5] MacBeth. Praying in Color, 49.

 
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