Praying in Color is a prayer or meditation practice that utilizes what I would categorize as doodling to help focus on that which you would pray or focus on. I consider it to be fun, but as previously discussed, I have spiritual ADHD and am inclined towards using visual tools in my spiritual expression. I developed this practice for myself using the book Praying in Color: Drawing a New Path to God by Sybil MacBeth.
With a clean sheet before you (or a good computer finger painting app – I used the app “Fingerpaint” for the Surface) and pens, markers, crayons, or pencils in hand, I invite you to enter into prayer…
To begin, draw an imperfect shape and write the name of the person you wish to pray for:
Alternately, you could begin with your image of the divine, your own name, or even leaving the shape empty embracing the idea of the mystery in our midst.
Next, begin to add detail to the drawing…dots, lines, squiggles, wiggles, whatever you want! Don’t overthink, just go with the flow. This is not a place for your inner art critic to emerge. This is simple prayer. Continue to add detail to the drawing-each pen stroke an intentional prayer.
When you feel that this is complete, draw a new shape and add another person. But first, take a moment to close out the first person with some sort of closure to the prayer or meditation (amen, so be it, shalom, etc.). Also, you may want to take a cleansing pause before jumping onto the next person. Or you may want to immediately move forward to the next person. Do what is right for you and the situation.
Repeat the process of drawing. Add doodads, color, and details.
Add another person to the prayer list. (And so on).
The most important thing to remember is that there is not any rules. You should follow the process where it leads you. And you will then create a personal prayer icon for you to carry with you throughout the day or days. You may even choose to post in someplace visible like your refrigerator! or you bathroom mirror. Or begin to enhance it further as days progress by adding words to focus your intentions.
If the words are distracting, put them away.
There you have it! Praying in Color – yet another way to access the deep love, mercy, and justice that resides within us all. You could easily do this and zip out names of people and zip in parts of the world worthy of deep concern … Syria, Kenya, Afghanistan…
Shalom and Amen!
© 2013, post, Terri Stewart, All rights reserved
TERRI STEWART is Into the Bardo’s Sunday chaplain, senior content editor, and site co-administrator. She comes from an eclectic background and considers herself to be grounded in contemplation and justice. She is the Director and Founder of the Youth Chaplaincy Coalition that serves youth affected by the justice system. As a graduate of Seattle University’s School of Theology and Ministry, she earned her Master’s of Divinity and a Post-Master’s Certificate in Spiritual Direction. She is a contributing author to the Abingdon Worship Annual. (The 2014 issue just released!)
Her online presence is “Cloaked Monk.” This speaks to her grounding in contemplative arts and the need to live it out in the world. The cloak is the disguise of normalcy as she advocates for justice and peace. You can find her at www.cloakedmonk.com, www.twitter.com/cloakedmonk, and www.facebook.com/cloakedmonk. To reach her for conversation, send a note to firstname.lastname@example.org