Today I am a guest blogger at Kathy Shaull‘s 13 Prayers. Kathy is a moderator at His Kingdom Come and I am one of the founding leaders. Kathy is a precious sister in Christ and is our prayer warrior! She has been doing a series about prayer on her blog and I am blessed to be asked to share my process and how I learned how to make prayer a fun reality!
For me prayer is just a conversation with God like a two-way conversation with a friend. I am supposed to pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18). So in my head I know that, but in daily life other things get in the way. I realized a few years ago that I was really good at telling people “I will pray for you” and then when I would see them again, I hadn’t prayed for them at all! How embarrassing was that and it threatened my integrity. So I decided that I wouldn’t tell people I was praying for them. Well- that didn’t work either! I am a Christian and I am supposed to pray!
Enter Sybil MacBeth and “Praying in Color.” I was introduced to her by my spiritual mentor Connie Denninger, when Sybil came to VA to put on a praying in color class at Connie’s church. I immediately resonated with this technique as a way I could really pray for people. My version of praying in color has been developed over the past few years and the book is a great starting point. I just adapted the ideas to my skills and abilities.
My technique is what Connie and I call Tangle Prayers. Tangle prayers are a Christian adaptation of the popular art form Zentangle ®. The word tangle simply means strokes and patterns. They emphasize the idea of moving the hand, mind and heart at the same time. These prayers do not require words just the action of praying and playing, coloring and drawing. The calming nature of drawing the patterns allows a focused quiet time that can be used as prayer time that connects to both the visual and kinesthetic part of how we learn, remember and recall things in our memories.
I have lots of stencils and spray inks. I use plain 4x6 note cards. I lay out about 6 at a time all close together and lay a few stencils on them and begin spraying. I get the most amazing patterns. Dry the cards, keep a stack handy for when I have down time or am watching TV.
I keep a list of who I want to pray for, and I look through the stack of cards and find one that speaks to me for the person I want to pray for. Sometimes I know a bible verse I want to share with the person, sometimes I just doodle their name, or sometimes I just make a doodle design out of the ink design.
All the ways mean I am spending time thinking and praying for that person. Turns out that is a lot more time spent in prayer than I ever did before. I then make a color copy of it when I am done and stick it into a little photo book so that I can continue to pray for that person. I mail the original to the receiver. Sometimes I take a picture of it and send them the picture instead.
I find that I am enjoying the presence of God rather than the presents of God much more with tangle prayers!
In 2012 I challenged myself to pray every day for an entire year. I created a prayer journal (11x15), and stenciled with a pen on the right hand side of the 12 pages, and on the left side I began to keep track of my 1000 gifts (Ann Voskamp- 1000 Gifts).
I hope that I have given you more ideas of how to incorporate prayer into your everyday life, to make it fun and beautiful!
Coram Deo (before the face of God)