Praying in Color / Praying in Black and White

Praying in Color = prayer + d o o d l i n g

When multiple friends and family members received ugly and scary diagnoses, Sybil MacBeth found herself exhausted by the words of her prayers and stymied by a lack of focus. One summer day, she retreated to her back porch for a session of mindless doodling with a basket of her favorite colored markers. She drew a shape, put the name of a friend inside, and added lines and color. She drew another shape with another name and added detail and color. When the page was covered with designs and names, Sybil realized she had prayed. The action of drawing was a wordless offering of friends and family into the care of God. The page of drawings became a visual reminder to pray. This was the beginning of Praying in Color.

Here are some reasons to Pray in Color:

1) You want to pray but words escape you. 2) Sitting still and staying focused in prayer are a challenge. 3) Your body wants to be part of your prayer. 4) You want to just hang out with God but don’t know how. 5) Listening to God feels like an impossible task . 6) Your mind wanders and your body complains. 7) You want a visual, concrete way to pray. 8) You Need a new way to pray.

Here’s what you need to get started:
1) Paper
2)  Pen
3) Colored markers or colored pencils or colored gel pens
4) A table or clipboard or book to put your paper on.

 Here’s how to get started:

1) Write your name for God on a piece of paper. Draw a shape around it or just start to doodle. The drawing becomes a prayer space, a small prayer closet. 2) Add marks and shapes. Focus on the name you chose. Ask God to be part of your prayer time with or without words. If words come, pray them; if not, enjoy the silence.
3) To pray for a person, write their name on the page. Draw around it. Add color, if you want. Keep drawing as you release the person into God’s care. 4) Add other people to your drawing. Think of each stroke of your pen as a prayer for them. Take a breath or say “Amen” between each person.

 

 Praying in Black and White Praying in Color – the Color

Praying in Black and White was conceived as an express version of praying in color. It’s a way to pray through doodling with only a piece of paper and a pen—anywhere, anytime.  No color is necessary. Just pull out a pen or pencil and start to pray—on a business card, an envelope, legal pad, calendar…

An example of the steps above in black and white: