In Praying in Color, McBeth discusses how she is often eager and willing to pray for others, but then finds that her prayer time turns into something more like a series of prayer snippets as her short attention span–and don’t we all have one of those nowadays!–keeps pulling her off topic.
The outcome of her seeking a way to deal with this challenge is the book, Praying in Color. Basically, McBeth advocates for doodling your prayers. She also emphasizes this has nothing to do with being a skilled artist. These doodled prayers are not intended to be works of art but rather an outpouring of our good wishes for the person or object of our prayer. Once complete, they also serve as visual reminders to continue praying in the days and weeks that follow.
In Praying in Color, McBeth suggests you allow yourself about a half an hour to sit down with paper, pens, and colored pencils or markers. Write the name of the person or object of your prayers and draw a shape around it. Then as you continue to pray, embellish the shape in whatever manner your thoughts lead you. By utilizing this process, she has found that what once were a minute or two or three brief moments of prayer have been transformed to 30 minutes of dedicated praying.
Furthermore, she shares how this technique can also be used for meditating on scripture (another tough job for those of us blessed with butterfly brains), weighing and discerning complex issues in our lives, and memorization of texts (Something that, as a visual learner, I find challenging. I’m excited to try doodling something I want to memorize soon. In addition, as a Language Arts teacher, I can see great uses for this as another format for responding to reading.
I prayed for a friend of mine who is battling cancer while I listened to this morning’s teaching in church. I just used a pen and an unlined 3/5 card. (I am going to add some color with my colored pencils–because I want to give her the card and the book–she is an artist). I found this did not distract me from the message, and yet, through my pen, I was able to weave a net of healing about her.
Praying in Color is an awesome little book, and I highly recommend it.