So it may not have escaped your notice that this year I’ve got a bit more creative again, and more specifically in the last few months as I’ve been laid up and off work with a bad back. I’ve been mostly lying in bed or on the floor for weeks, which has meant I can’t do much, and a packet of coloured pens and my journal has brought me much joy 🙂 You can read about that in a selection of my posts over the last few months (check the prayer doodling category – see right).
But, with that in mind, I thought I’d share some thoughts on colouring as a form of prayer. Because I have wondered sometimes whether I’m colouring just because I’m enjoying it (not that there’s anything wrong with that!) or actually as a form of prayer. Colouring seems to be massively in at the mo for adults as a form of relaxation and de-stressing – which probably says a lot about our lives if we need to sit and colour to relax – but thats a-whole-nother-post. I doodle or draw or colour as a form of prayer and judging my the number of retweets and hits I’m getting on these posts others seem interested too. So here’s some ideas on colouring/doodling as prayer that have occurred to me over the last few weeks…
1) Actively make it a form of prayer. So for example, don’t just sit down and decide to colour, give it to God first, a simple prayer, offering the time to God. When I colour or doodle I always start by just giving to God as an offering so even if I don’t pray as I do it, I know and he knows it’s an offering to him.
2) You could put on worship music in the background while you colour.
3) Listen to the bible (thanks to @theVicarswife for this one) who told me she was listening to the bible whilst colouring on a certain scripture. If you don’t have an audio bible (and let’s face it who does!?) Bible Gateway has the option to listen to any scriptures for free and you can get it as an app for your phone/ipad etc too, so what you waiting for?!
4) Pray for people as you colour. For example I like to think of each colour or section/shape as a person or situation. As I colour in that section or every time I use a particular colour I pray for them. Or you could recite the Lords Prayer or the Jesus Prayer as you colour too, whatever feels right for you.
5) If you’re not sure where to start there are a couple of sheets on here you can print out and colour in, and I’ve got a few more weeks off work yet so there will probably be more! Just print one out and start colouring. But also there are lots of existing beautiful colouring books out there on the market, they may not be scriptural but you can still pray as you colour!
and if you want to be a bit freer than just colouring between the lines:
6) Doodle or colour on a particular scripture. I find this really helps me to focus on the words and mediate on them. Try drawing in lines first then colouring in.
7) How about colouring your way through a chapter or book of the bible? Ok maybe that’s a bit ambitious, so maybe take a verse at a time and doodle how it makes you feel, and colour as you go.
8) Be expressive. I usually doodle in my journal which no one gets to see except me (and God obvs). so I don’t care if it looks a mess. Some pages are just scribbles but it helps to express what I’m feeling. You might find you need to express a particular emotion but can’t find the words, draw some shapes, colour them, in whatever way you see fit. It doesn’t have to look like anything, Get creative, create a glorious mess! it is so freeing…
9) Use shapes, lines and colours to express yourself. Anything goes. If you want to depict something specific from a scripture like flowers or animals, great, but equally you could just use squares, wavy lines, arrows, hearts, hey blobs will do!
10) Remember it means something to you and to God. It’s a time for him, a time for you so whatever you do you know he’s going to love it 🙂