I bought a book recently that intrigued me and I love it. It’s titled Praying in Color by Sybil Macbeth.1 In it, she describes a new way to pray, by drawing and/or doodling. To some it may sound silly, but I tried it for the first time this morning and it was wonderful.
I’m sure you already know there are all sorts of learners: visual, auditory and kinetic/moving being the three main styles. Some people learn best when the information is presented in a song, some learn best by reading or writing, some by doing and so forth.
Just as there are different styles of learning, I believe, along with Sybil, that there are many different styles of praying and relating to God. Each person has to find the way that works best for them.
I’m a visual person, with music and movement in the mix. I am also easily distracted, so, a type of prayer that involves other parts of my mind and even my body sounded like it might help me focus.
I got out my sketch pad and some colored pencils, after sitting quietly for a while just watching nature and waking up. I drew a random little shape, then wrote down the first name mind. As the things I wanted to pray for that person started rising up in my thoughts, I added little pictures or shapes or colors that symbolized that for me. It was so interesting in that while drawing the little pictures, other prayers or ways to pray for them were revealed to me. I’ll try to give an example.
A friend of my parents is fighting cancer. He is a pastor, too, and has recently had some people give him trouble at church over some petty things. It’s so like the enemy to kick us when we’re already down and hurting over something else. I wrote this man’s name and drew a circle around it, thinking “God, please make him whole.” I felt like circling his name over and over and as I did, watching the circles thickening up around him, I thought to pray for his protection from evil – that God’s love would surround him in every way.
It’s a little bit difficult to describe how the process blessed and moved me, but it did. AND, my mind didn’t wander once while I was drawing and praying, 30 minutes worth!
If you follow Jesus, it is so worth the effort to discover the way that connects you best with Him. It won’t be just like others and it may surprise you.
1 Praying in Color, by Sybil Macbeth. Published in 2007 by Paraclete Press.