In a recent comment to a blog post, someone suggested using paisley shapes for prayers. When I was a teenager I sewed several blouses and dresses with paisley designs on them. They were deep teal and dark red fabrics. I loved the basic tear-droppish shape and the intricate patterns inside of them. I’ve been drawing paisley shapes for the past week with varied success and many variations on a theme. Below is a sheet of paisley shapes.
What I notice about the page is the large paisley in the middle and the smaller versions all around it. The smaller ones look like swaddled babies. And I like the idea. So here is an idea or suggestion: Use this page as a framework for intercessory prayer. Write the name you call God in the large paisley. As you color the shape and maybe even add more lines and dots, ask God to be part of this prayer time–ask with or without words. Then imagine the other smaller shapes as children and images of God, each swaddled in God’s love and care. Write the name of someone you are praying for in each shape. Think of each person as “made in the image and likeness of God.” Pray for them with words, with swaths of color, and with silence. If words come to you, pray them. If words do not come, know that you are still praying for them. Maybe even write words or hopes for the person near the shape. After praying for each person, say an “Amen” or other words of letting go.
The prayer doesn’t have to be completed in one sitting. Add names as you think of them during the day or week. Revisit the people you have already prayed for. Place the page in a place where you see it. Let it be a reminder to you to pray for each person again.
Below is my partially finished prayer and a template. You can download the uncolored page as a .pdf or .jpg. Remember to download first, then print.