Pray In Color

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If you have any interest in growing closer to God through engaging prayer, you definitely want to take time to read this post!



About a year ago, I was surfing the web looking for some digital Christian images for a project that I was working on.  As I was looking through a range of photos, there was one certain type that kept catching my attention.  It was hand drawn images that were obviously prayers that had been "doodled" by different individuals.  

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I was fascinated by the variety of designs, colors, and types of prayers that I saw and wanted to know more.  As I dug deeper, I discovered that what people were creating was known as:

Praying in Color - Doodle Prayer - Visual Journaling 

(as well as a host of other titles)


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It is basically taking paper (most often in the form of a journal) and using markers and/or colored pencils to "doodle" one's way into the presence of God.  




Just like the practice of stillness, scripture reading, prayer walking or saying the rosary enables one to quiet the mind and open their heart to the leading of the Holy Spirit, so does 

Praying In Color.


And though it seems like a practice that only an artist can perform, it is so simple that anyone, even those with absolutely zero artistic talent can do!


For all that is required is the ability to draw a simple shape, like a line, a circle or a square.  


So simple even a cave man can do it!  Yet so rewarding, your prayer life will never be the same!  What you can look forward to is this: 

1)  A way to quiet your mind before God

2)  A way to keep engaged in your prayer

3)  A way to open space in your heart to allow the Holy Spirit to speak

4)  A way to lift up your cares to God

5)  A way to visually record what is going on in your world

6)  A way to come before God in anticipation, expectation and hope

7)  A way to cover your friends, family, the world in prayer

8)  A way to pray when words don't seem to come

9)  A way to spend Godly time before God


This form of praying can be used with any type of prayer whether one wants to spend time in:  Worship, Thanksgiving, Confession, Intercession, Guidance, Surrender, etc..  


The basic guidelines are these:

1)  Gather your supplies:  paper & colored markers (I keep a pencil bag of markers and colored pencils along with a journal next to my Bible.)


2)  Start with a moment of silence - could be some breathing, reading a devotion or scripture, singing a song, or naming a concern.  (I read a short devotion and then pick up my pen!)


3)  On the sheet of paper, draw a shape.  It is interesting how your hand will figure out where to go.  Think of the most basic shapes:  a line, a wavy line, a square, a square with scallops around the edges, a heart, a heart with scallops and dots, a cross, a spiral, the shape of a hand or foot, a circle, an arrow, a flower (daisy, tulip), a tree …  


You could also start with the name of someone who is on your heart, a word that describes your emotion for the moment, or a burden you are carrying.  Think different scripts with dangles, dots, outlines.  Look around you for inspiration!


4)  Begin to enhance the drawing, by adding other shapes.  Remember that this is not an artistic drawing, you are not creating a work of art.  You are keeping your hand in motion to give you something to do to quiet the body and still the mind.  If you get stuck, look around you for ideas in fabrics, or other elements wherever you are.  When I am stuck, I most often just retrace what I have already drawn, or add small circles or dots, or straight or squiggly lines.


5)  Add color.  Color makes this activity more engaging.  It opens up the possibilities to keep your mind more focused on the activity at hand.  Continue to build on your page, focusing  on opening your heart to the leading of the Holy Spirit.  Do any thoughts come to mind that you want to record?  


When I sit to pray, I try and allow at least 10 - 15 minutes in "doodle praying."  When I am finished, I do not always experience something transformational, but more often than not, I walk away with a change of mood, mind set or satisfaction having presented my cares before God.


These are a few of the prayers that I have "prayed".  Each of them are so different, each of them has a personal, special meaning to me.  Each of them is a "visual reminder" of a moment in my prayer life, recording what what was happening in my world at the time, recording my mood, my concerns, all that were lifted up before God.  (Remember these are personal prayers, so I have only shared the most "generic" prayers in my journal!)

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To keep my mind centered on prayer, I filled the page with loads of circles. It may seem like a possible waste of time, but I knew this was time before God lifting my cares unto Him, waiting in anticipation for His voice. 



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Small designs, letting your hand flow, allows your mind to become still and allows God's Spirit to speak.  Nothing fancy here, just squiggles, circles, hearts and lines.  Anyone is capable of this!


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These are the words God put on my heart one day about Praying In Color as I was preparing to teach this to a group .  'It is Electrifying, Engaging, Memorable, Fun … It helps to overcome the seasons of dryness.  You don't want to stop, who could ever say that about prayer?'


The main lesson that I have learned from "Praying In Color" is that the time spent "doodling" is not wasted time, it is Godly Time!  The time that I spent with a simple pad and colored pens has allowed me, each time, to spend time before God trusting in His Presence, His Sovereignty, and His Care!


I pray that you will take some time to explore this incredible means of praying for yourself.  It has absolutely transformed my prayer life and I pray it will do the same for you!


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If you would like further information about this type of praying, I recommend the book "Praying In Color" by Sybil McBeth.  






Here is a time lapse prayer time that I had if you want to see what Praying In Color looks like in action.



© margaret young