Creative Prayers – Prayer Doodles

Creative Prayers – Prayer Doodles

In the beginning, God CREATED the heavens and the earth. ~Genesis 1:1~

This small group and online class explore our purposes and passions while seeking relationships and freedom with the Ultimate Creator. He created us in His image to be creative creatures!

Each week I will share a devotional with a different type of prayer along with the art projects.

The first-week devotional and art project deals with Prayer Doodles, based on Sybil MacBeth's book, Praying in Color.

Getting Started

Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. ~Colossians 4:2~

Praying as a Form of Works

If you’re like me, you were probably raised to say your prayers at mealtime and when you went to bed. Did you ever stop to think about those rote prayers we once prayed? Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep. If I should die….wait, what?

Love comedian Tim Hawkins’ take on that prayer…..

Those were the kind of prayers I said because I thought I had to, not because I wanted to. I thought if I didn’t say my prayers I was going to hell, no ifs, ands, or buts about it. So, they didn’t mean anything to me. They were simply a way to keep me out of hell. I’m sure we’re all willing to say a prayer or two just to stay out of hell, don’t cha think?

Those keep-me-out-of-hell prayers were simply forms of trying to do good works so the Lord would look favorably on me and not send me to purgatory. I thought just going through the motions of praying would keep me out of that godforsaken place and put me closer to Heaven. Not true. God did not create prayer so we could earn more smiley face stickers on His huge prayer poster. He created prayer so we could have conversations and a relationship with Him.

“…if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”
~2 Chronicles 7:14~

Paralyzing Prayer

I can remember the first time I was asked to pray out loud and it literally paralyzed me. I was involved with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) at my high school and we would visit local churches sharing our testimonies and trying to lead a life God would be proud of rather than one our friends thought was “cool”.

Sharing our testimonies was nerve-racking enough, but praying out loud, oh, my, that was a whole different ballgame! I did not grow up praying off-the-cuff or praying out loud except at the dinner table and at bedtime with my sister and Mom. Those prayers were usually the rote, fear-of-dying-in-my-sleep kind mentioned above. So, when our FCA leader asked me en route to a church to pray us in, I panicked.

Pray? Me? Was I sure he was looking at me? You want ME to pray for EVERYONE? What do I say? If I can think of anything to say, can I remember it by the time we get to the church? Help me, Lord! I guess I first prayed a prayer of desperation before we ever got to the church!

I just remember leaning my head against the van window all the way to the church in a nearby town (not enough miles to come up with a “good” prayer), trying to come up with something to say. I didn’t talk to anyone the whole way there. I just kept going over and over what I might say. I have no idea what I said, but I guess I said something. I’m still here and I’m still praying so it didn’t kill me.

Needless to say, praying does not come naturally to me, and maybe not to you either. We can become paralyzed when we try to “do it right” or work the prayer “checklist”.

I’ve always admired people who can just pray on the spur of the moment or who volunteer to lead prayer in any sort of setting, but that just did not come naturally to me. Praying for others and praying out loud was a skill I had to learn.

Relationship Prayer

I have finally learned that when we have a relationship with the Lord, just like a relationship with friends or family, we can simply talk to Him. We are able to talk to God because of what Christ did for us on the cross. Sin separated us from God, but once Jesus died for our sins, the barrier was broken, forever. Period. He wants a personal relationship with us. He promises that He hears us.

Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.  ~Hebrew 4:16~

Prayer Doodles

Staying Focused

One of the simplest and creative ways to pray is something I call a Prayer Doodle. I’ve been doing these “doodles” for several years now, but recently read Praying in Color by Sybil MacBeth and realized I’m not the only one. These doodles are basically a way to keep those of us who tend to get distracted, focused while we pray.

While I take notes in church, I doodle designs on the edges of my worship guide so I stay focused on what the pastor is saying and not on my to-do list.

Here are a few examples of all my fun pens. (NO, I do not take ALL my pens to church!)

And guess what? It has been shown that doodling is actually a good thing. Who knew!?!?

Doodling can: 
o Free up short- and long-term memory
o Improve content retention
o Increase attention span
o Produce creative insight

So why wouldn’t we want to try it when we pray?

Here’s what you’ll need: 
o Paper (Journal or loose pages)
o Pencils (optional)
o Gel Pens or Markers (variety of colors)

So, even if you do not think you have any artistic ability, it doesn’t matter, you’re just doodling! Plus, His power is made perfect in our weaknesses, so maybe this is where He will show you something new about yourself!

My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.  ~2 Corinthians 12:9~

Think of an issue or person you would like to pray about. Or find a scripture you want to focus on and do one of these two choices: 

1-Draw a shape
 THEN write a name, scripture, or prayer
2-Write a word (name, scripture, or prayer) THEN draw a shape

Draw a Shape:

o Draw a random shape around the page
o Large for a prayer or scripture
o Small for a name or if you plan to do several names
o Write the word(s) in the middle of the shape
o Add details around the word(s) – dots, lines, patterns, etc.
o Begin to add colors
o Think about the person or situation as you’re drawing around it
o Add more words as you feel led – draw a shape and repeat the process

Write a Name, Scripture, or Prayer: 
o Write your scripture, prayer, or name in the middle of the page
o Draw a random shape around the word(s)
o Add details around the word(s) – dots, lines, patterns, etc.
o Begin to add color
o Think about the person or situation as you’re drawing around it
o Add more words as you feel led – draw a shape and repeat the process

Just FYI, it’s better to just “go with the flow” when you’re doodling your prayers. Focus on the issue or person, not your artistic ability! 

Once drawn, pray for the person or situation as you draw more doodles. You can pray in one sitting or use the doodle as a place to come back to and pray again another day.

A good resource for different doodles can be found at www.Zentangle.com (that’s the official website, but you can search Zentangles or doodle images and find TONS of ideas)

 

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