Carly Brandvold is the Ethos Kids Pastor, overseeing all our campuses and children! (Yeah, she's got a big job!!) She is also a lifelong learner and voracious reader...and she's passionate about sharing what she's learning with people in her life. The following blog is a way to pray by engaging your hands and heart through artistic pursuit with God. Don't worry — you don't have to be an amazing artist to enjoy and engage in this type of prayer!
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If you are participating in Fast Forward you may be feeling the tension of wanting to commit to praying for the 15 names on your list but not knowing how to do so.
It can sometimes feel awkward to pray for people when we don’t know what we are praying for, especially if we don’t know the person!
A great way to engage with God through prayer for the people on your list is by practicing the spiritual discipline of "praying in color."
This way of praying allows us to release control over the prayer and accept what the Spirit has to tell us about a person, place, or event.
All you need are some pens or pencils, crayons or markers, and some paper. Get somewhere quiet or somewhere you feel comfortable. Then follow these steps below:
- Begin by drawing a shape on the paper. Then write the name of the person you are praying for in or near the shape.
- Start adding detail to the shape through lines and color.
- As you continue drawing, think of each dot, circle, line, and color as an offering of prayer to God for that person.
- While drawing, specific images or words may come to mind. Add them to the picture. You may not understand how, or if, they connect to the person you are praying for but that is okay!
- This process of coloring and praying can last as long or as short as you would like.
- When you are done praying. Spend a few moments looking at the prayer you have created, going over the different elements you have drawn. Thank God for his heart and love for this person. Close by praying a blessing over the person.
You may want to pray for all your names in the same picture. That is great! Or, you may decide to start a separate image for each person and return to it as you continue to pray for them throughout the month.
This prayer practice has power to bring clarity to you as you are praying. Because we believe the Holy Spirit is actively at work among us, we can trust we will be guided to hold these people before God in a beautiful and powerful way.
P.S. If you have children, this discipline is an excellent way to invite them into praying for the names on your list. To participate with children you can follow the steps above. If your child cannot yet write, invite them to share with you what they have drawn so that you can write it on the image and continue praying with it throughout the month.
For other ideas on how to pray in different ways, read this blog by Caity Shinnick.
This discipline and these steps are adapted from Praying In Color by Sybil MacBeth. For more information on praying in color, check out this resource.