Writing the Expanded and Enhanced version of Praying in Color: Drawing a New Path to God was a journey through the past dozen years of my prayer, spiritual, and vocational life. When I first started praying in color almost twenty years ago I was teaching calculus, pre-calculus, trig, and algebra at a community college in Virginia Beach. I loved my work, the students, and my colleagues at the college. My church, my dance community, the choir, and friends also enriched my life.
At the same time a dozen family members and friends received diagnoses of terrible and varied cancers. I was at a loss for words in my prayers for them. So I started to doodle and the doodles morphed into prayers. Praying with paper, pen, and markers became the main way I corralled my restless mind and body into a chair and spent time with God.
Our move to Memphis in 2004 introduced me to Phyllis Tickle, a Christian and a writer. She said, “You need to write a book about the way you pray.” I said, “Yes, m’am,” obeyed, and wrote the book. The 2007 publication of the original Praying in Color led me to offer workshops and retreats around the country.
The workshops and retreats were my new way of being a teacher. But they were also a new way for me to be a student. I met wonderful people in many different denominations–Lutheran, Catholic, Baptist, Salvation Army, Presbyterian, Episcopalian, Congregational, Methodist, Church of Christ…. I have shared praying in color in churches, retreat centers, hospitals, and parochial schools in the U.S., Canada, and France. Everywhere I go, people share their faith and their experience of prayer. The way we worship and the details of our doctrine might be a little different, but the hunger for God and prayer seem to be universal. I am so grateful for the thousands of people I have met who have given me fresh ways to see God and who have prayed with me and for me.
The original Praying in Color was 103 pages; this new version is 174 pages. It includes material from the 2007 book but also many more prayer doodles and ideas for prayer. If you have never prayed in color before or if you are a veteran prayer-doodler, consider reading it as part of your Lenten discipline. Or combine some of the ideas with a Lenten calendar template. I hope this expanded and enhanced book will nurture your prayer life and give you permission to be with God in new ways. Thank you.