With all of the excitement and hype about coloring books, I wanted to remind people about coloring, doodling, drawing, and PRAYER. Many of the reasons people like coloring books are the same reasons I started praying in color. Coloring relaxes, stills the monkey mind, and gives people time away from daily work and social media.
I started doodling my prayers by accident. In a summer doodling session on my screened-in porch, names started appearing in my doodles. They were the names of the people on my prayer list. My doodling had become my prayer. My take on the coloring/doodling process is that it gives my body something to do while I enter into prayer. My normal fidgety, restless body has something to do while I wait for prayer words to come or I wait for stillness. My prayers used to be a flurry of words, a few sentences shot with a bow toward God. Now I don’t insist on words. If they come, I’m grateful. If not, I know I have prayed because I have carved out a time to sit with God and given God the opportunity to enter my mind and my heart. Each line, each swirl, each stroke of color is a non-verbal prayer.
Coloring and doodling can be a spiritual practice, but I also think of it as a religious practice. It is a ritual I observe to worship God, offer my intercessions for others, name my gratitudes, and confess my sins/character defects. I do this on paper, in black and white and in color. With and without words. It is not just in my head but becomes a visual record of the things on my heart and a visual reminder for me to continue to pray. It is my prompt to “pray unceasingly.”
So while you are ordering your coloring books on Amazon or wherever, think about ordering one of these books to help you create your own prayer coloring books. The Portable Edition is a 2013 update of the original Praying in Color. It is about 1/4 new material.