In her book, Praying in Color: Drawing a New Path to God, Sybil MacBeth explains that this technique is both process and product. A unique prayer method, Praying in Color invites the “pray-er” to keep their hands moving as they doodle, draw, and color their prayers. The benefits of this hands-on technique are many.
The Benefits of Praying in Color*
- Sustained focus during prayer
- Stimulated engagement in prayer
- Process – a concrete way to pray
- Product – a visual record of prayers
I will confess here to being a bit skeptical when I was first introduced to the method. Artistic ability not being numbered among my gifts or talents, I pretty much had a “yeah, right” attitude. But after that first workshop, I was hooked!
Honestly, please take my word for it. You do not have to be an ARTIST to Pray in Color!*
My Personal Take on the Process
Yes, I Pray in Color* from time to time for adults and for friends and so forth, but I most enjoy using the process to pray for my grandchildren.
Allow me to share. To Pray in Color* for your grandchildren you will NEED:
- A blank sheet of paper (sketch paper, art paper, a sheet of printer paper)
- Pencil (optional; for those who prefer to “get things on the paper” before using pen or something permanent)
- Pen, fine-tip Sharpie, or any black roller ball pen
- Colored markers, colored pencils, colored gel pens
- A prayer resource sheet (Scriptures to Pray for Grandchildren, 31 Biblical Virtues to Pray for Your Children [simply change it to grandchildren!] or find another via a quick Google or Pinterest search)
- A surface to work on
Before you begin, take a moment to prepare for your time of prayer by removing as many distractions as possible and consciously quieting your heart and mind before God.
Praying in Color* for your Grandchildren
First, write your grandchild’s name on the blank sheet of paper. Write it simply or make it fancy using some creative lettering. Draw a shape of any kind around the name or simply begin to doodle around it.
Continue to add shapes, marks, doodles, and/or color. It doesn’t matter what. The key is staying engaged by keeping your hands moving. All the while, focus on your grandchild. Ask God to be part of your prayer time. Thank Him for the precious treasure that your grandchild is. Rejoice that this child is part of your family.
After a few minutes or as the Holy Spirit leads, move on in your prayer.
Using your prayer resource sheet, choose a specific characteristic, virtue, or verse of scripture to pray over your grandchild. I tend to simply glance over the resource sheet allowing my eyes to fall on one of the items on the list. I find the Holy Spirit just seems to make things pop out at me. This process only takes seconds.
When I have chosen the “thing” I am going to pray, I add it to the paper. Often I will write out the characteristic or virtue. Sometimes I write out the scripture in its entirety or make a note of the reference as part of a characteristic or virtue. How or if I include the scripture, depends upon the Holy Spirit’s leading and the age of the child.
Once this “item” has been added to the paper, I pray it specifically for my grandchild — adding shapes, marks, doodles, and/or color as I pray.
As my prayer continues, I keep adding characteristics, virtues, or scriptures to the “prayer.” Remembering to keep my hands moving through doodles and color all the while.
There is no right or wrong way to Pray in Color.* These “steps” are intended merely as a starting point. The main idea is to be ENGAGED in your prayer time.
There is also no time limit on the process. Adjust each prayer to the amount of time you have available whether that be ten minutes or sixty. For shorter amounts of available time, reduce the number of “things” you pray for. Either way, allow the Holy Spirit to lead you through your prayer. His timing is perfect.
No artistic talent or ability is required. Simple color and doodles produce beautiful “prayers.”
The prayer resource sheets hold no special power. I use them as a help. Often when I go to prayer, I find that my mind hasn’t joined me! The resource sheets are simply a tool that serves to provide ready prompts and helps me pray more specifically for my grandchildren.
One Final Step to Praying in Color* for your Grandchildren
This is just a suggestion, something I have found to add even more value to my “prayers.”
After finishing my “prayer,” I tend to hang it on the refrigerator for a few days as a prompt to my husband and me to continue in prayer for this grandchild. I then take the “prayer” down and mail it to my grandchild with a personal note that Grandma has prayed for them. There is just something about receiving “real” mail AND knowing that someone has prayed specifically for you.
Side note: I have found these “prayers” months and even years later in all kinds of places including the back of a grandchild’s Bible, hung on a bulletin board, and tucked under a pillow.
I truly can’t say enough about this method as a tool for praying for a grandchild. If you decide to give it a try, please share your experience. I’d love to hear how you Pray in Color* for your grandchildren.
*Sybil MacBeth, Praying in Color: Drawing a New Path to God. prayingincolor.com.