Home > Culture > Praying in colour

Praying in colour

Paraclete Press 2007

Now here’s a different sort of book. Praying in Colour commences with a few good reasons why you may want to read it: “Your prayers feel more like a list for Santa Claus than a love letter to God; you dump the contents of your heart and mind on God, and then wish you hadn’t; you promise to pray for others, and then forget who they are.”

The confessions of the author continue as she talks about prayer popping and postcards, and speaks about needing a way to pray that does not require lengthy prize-winning words.

“When someone says, ‘Please pray for me’ they are not just saying ‘Let’s have lunch sometime. They are issuing an invitation into the depths of their lives and their humanity.'”

What follows is “Praying in a New Way” and doodling.

The author points out “I have never been able to draw a cat, a dog, or anything else for that matter. But I love colour and shape and movement. Doodling allows me to combine those loves on paper. So I started to draw. I doodled a random shape into existence with a thin black pen.

“Without even realising it, I wrote a name in the centre of the shape. The name belonged to one of the people on my prayer list. I stayed with the same shape and the name, adding detail and colour to the drawing. Each dot, each line, and each stroke of colour became another moment of time spent with the person in the centre. The focus of the drawing was the person whose name stared at me from the paper.”

I found myself getting excited about the process. I thought- I could read on. (I had only got to page 15)… I could read on about prayer, or I could do it. I could “pray in colour.

Some may ask me – “Did you just doodle?”

“No” – I was praying. I could suggest to you- read this book or I could say, “do it”. For me doodling was not the important thing. The focus on the person is the important thing.

The continuing enhancing of your drawing, the adding of colour and detail, the adding of another person, and another, and another creates a prayer icon for all of the people for whom you want to pray.

Although intercession was the struggle that inspired Praying in Colour there are other kinds of prayer and spiritual brainstorming that fit into this form eg. Compost Prayers, Thanksgivings, Spiritual Journey, Mentors.

Like I said – It’s not about reading this book. It’s about doing it. Doodler, or not, this may be a book for you.

Reviewed by Colin Ray