Two-Stroke Doodled Prayers

Sep 12, 2016

I love drawing my prayers. In a pinch, coloring pages work as a place to record my intercessions, gratitudes, and confessions, but there is something so satisfying about growing my own prayer. For the drawing-phobic like myself, directions and boundaries are sometimes helpful. For example, the Zentangle Method of doodling provides clear instructions, frameworks, and specific supplies; the results are beautiful even for the “non-artist.” I am not a Zentangler, but I like the clarity of the process. Many books and workshops are available to learn zentangling.

My favorite “boundaried” way of creating a prayer is by limiting my stroke choices. My friend Cindy O of Mostly Markers and Mostly Markers–Cards suggested this to me several years ago. She calls the results a rosette. My versions often end up so angular they look more like the pattern in an old rug. See the examples below.

Limiting the number of strokes or shapes frees me up to actually focus on the prayer and to quell the mutterings of the art critic in my head. Here’s how it works:
1) Start with a word for God: God, Jesus, Holy Spirit, Beloved One, Creator, Awesome God, Holy One…. Write the word in the middle of your paper.
2) Draw lines, petals, or zigzags emanating from the word to the edges of the page. The lines form the framework or lattice to hang the rest of the prayer on.
3) Choose two shapes or strokes that you will use to draw your prayer. Here are some of my favorite pairs of shapes: U’s (arcs) and V’s, lines and circles, waves and triangles, rectangles and lines, hearts and arcs.… You can experiment with any two shapes or strokes.  Some work better than others.
4) Start to create your prayer rosette. Draw your two shapes/strokes on the lattice or connect two pieces of the lattice . As the prayer drawing grows you can color in spaces and add names of people you are praying for. Feel free to add words of prayer as well.

This format can be used for all kinds of prayer forms: intercession, adorations, confessions, thanksgivings…. I use this style of prayer drawing when I want to spend time with God and have no specific agenda. The repetitive drawing of my two strokes helps me to stay focused and in my chair without worrying about the beauty or ugliness of the drawing. As I draw I get to be still and to listen.

In the first example below, I drew almost straight lines from the word God. Then I chose U’s and V’s. Some of the U’s and V’s are sharply curved; some are flat. Some are singles, some doubles or triples. In the second example, I drew petals out from the name of Jesus. Lines and circles formed the rest of the drawing. The end product is always a surprise. Along the way, there are lots of spaces for adding color or words. The last example uses lines, arcs, and color.





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