In a recent Facebook discussion someone said, “There is too much emphasis on making pretty prayers.” I agree. Now that I have doodled for a few decades, my prayer drawings sometimes look decent, maybe even pretty. It’s easy for their appearance to become a priority, to feel like my prayers should be an art project and always look good. But that misses the point. For me the point of praying in color is to create a prayer time and a visual prayer list. If a prayer is ugly, maybe that will implant the prayer in my mind even better than a nicely executed, appealing one.
Maybe it is important to draw sloppy visual prayers in the same way that it is important to pray sloppy, inarticulate verbal prayers. The point is to pray–beautiful or ugly, articulate or blathering wherever and whenever. I believe God receives all of our prayers, without judgment, without giving us a grade.
If you’re tempted to only keep your pretty prayers, commit to praying a few ugly ones. Choose colors that clash or ones you do not like. Use an uncomfortable name for God. Draw on a paper napkin, a paper towel, or the back of an old envelope.
Now I have showed you some of my ugly little prayers, please show me yours.