One of the things we were able to offer while the team from Colorado was here was some workshops. Our friend Russ Bruxvoort was able to teach a Pastors Workshop (sorry Russ – I don’t have any pictures) and on the same day the ladies (Heather, Rebecca, Jill, Heidy) & I were able to offer a workshop for Pastoras. I had looked forward to this day for a long time, and it did not disappoint. God was present, and I loved that I got to be along for the ride.
The next day we had an incredible opportunity to do a 2nd Prayer Doodling Workshop for the women from the Ameya Church. I was super excited to do this. It felt a bit like a thank you gift to them for loving our family so well in the past month.
Here are a few exercises we did together in our workshops:
Intro to Doodling #1:
- Write a symbol for God in the center of your paper. Some different names for God are God, Jesus, Jehovah, el Shaddai, Emanuel…for this experience just choose one name. Another time, you can repeat this activity using other names for God.
- Now, draw a shape around it. It can be a simple shape like a circle or square, or a creative shape. There is no right or wrong way to do this. This shape or drawing becomes a prayer space, a small prayer closet.
- Now, add marks and shapes. Focus on the name you chose. Ask God to be a part of your prayer time with or without words. If words come, pray them; if not, simply enjoy the silence.
- To pray for a person, write their name on the page. Draw around it. Add color, if you want. Keep doodling as you release the person into God’s care.
- If you want, add other people to your page. Think of each stroke of your pen as a prayer for them. Take a breath or say “Amen” between each person.
Intro to Doodling #2:
- Take a deep breath in, and invite God into your heart and your mind as you begin to settle down. When someone or something comes to mind that needs prayer pick up a pen or pencil and begin. If no one or thing comes to mind, simply sit in God’s presence for a little longer. Don’t force it.
- Write the name of the person you are praying for on your paper, or simply draw a symbol or shape to represent the person, thing, or situation.
- Now, draw a shape around this name or symbol.
- Next, slowly add detail, doodles, and shapes. Do not over-think it. Just draw what feels right for that person or situation. Sometimes the shape looks like something recognizable, sometimes it doesn’t. Remember that there is never a wrong way to do this. Praying and spending time with God will always feel right to Him.
- At some point your mind may wander, just return to the prayer by repeating that person’s name to yourself. At the same time, be open to the quiet nudging of God’s Spirit, leading you further in prayer as well.
- Add color to your doodle, filling things in, making patterns, etc. Again, do not over think it. Just go with it.
- When you are finished, say amen, or start over again with a new person or situation.
There is a book written by Sybil MacBeth called Praying in Color . I encourage you to check it out if this is of any interest to you. Her blog has a lot of great stuff to check out too!
We ended both Workshops with an exercise called Dwelling in the Word. I learned this practice first from Steve Burger who works in the denominational office of the Evangelical Covenant Church. There are many materials to be found out there, but if you are just experimenting with praying scripture in this way, you may find the Breathe Material also from the Evangelical Covenant Church quite helpful. Or shoot me a quick email. I’d love to guide you through!
Praying in words uses the logical side of our brains. Praying in colors and shapes taps into our intuition. Praying for others can sometimes be difficult because we don’t know all of the details or what they really need. So, when we pray in color and shapes, we pray more intuitively and freely for a person or situation. The Holy Spirit has a lot of room to work within us and through us as we pray for others since we are not bogged down by a small vocabulary and our own ideas of what a person may need. This has been EXTREMELY helpful for me and my relationship with the Lord.