Praying in Colour: Drawing a New Path to God
Sybil MacBeth would like to help people draw closer to God-literally. She's developed a simple new approach to prayer described in her book Praying in Color, to be released in April by Paradete Press. She talked about her method recently...
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Sybil MacBeth would like to help people draw closer to God-literally. She's developed a simple new approach to prayer described in her book Praying in Color, to be released in April by Paradete Press. She talked about her method recently with Associate Editor Mary Jacobs. Here are excerpts. Tell me about your approach to prayer. I would describe it as visual way to pray. I started praying this way about four years ago, when I had a whole slew of friends who had cancer all at once. I didn't know what to pray. I got tired of the saying the same old things: "Please, God, make them better, make them comfortable." I'm a doodler. One day I was sitting on my porch doodling and I realized I had put the name of somebody in one of these shapes. I thought "I don't know what to say but Jean sit with this person in prayer. I can do that by drawing and coloring and constantly keeping my attention focused on the person and lifting him up to God" And that's how it got started. Do you need to have artistic ability to do this? Absolutely not. I can't draw a cat. But I love color. I think that's one of the reasons that it works for me. Describe the steps you take. I night draw a shape first. Then I'll put the name of a person I want to pray for in the shape. Or, sometimes I'll put a name for God in the first shape. I don't try to force words because the words sometimes get in the way. Then I'll draw around the shape. I'll do squiggles or curlicues or lines, just different shapes-just to keep my hand moving and always my attention on lifting the person up to God. I'll spend 3-5 minutes on the person. Then I'll move to another spot on the page and do another shape and pray for another person who is on my mind. So it might end up with one person on the page or I might have ten, depending on how many friends or family members need prayer. Then I'll often carry that sheet with me. Sometimes I'll put it on the fridge, or I'll put the sheet in front of an icon and a candle in the kitchen. So every time I'll walk by the sheet, I'll see it and it jogs my memory to pray unceasingly for the people on the paper. Not necessarily with words-just offering them into God's care. Reporter Resources March 23, 2007
Need help communicating with God?
Maybe you hunger to know God better. Maybe you love color. Maybe you are a visual or kinesthetic learner, a distractable or impatient soul, or a word-weary pray-er. Perhaps you struggle with a short attention span, a restless body, or a tendency to live in your head.
This new prayer form can take as little or as much time as you have or want to commit, from 15 minutes to a weekend retreat."A new prayer form gives God an invitation and a new door to penetrate the locked cells of our hearts and minds," explains Sybil MacBeth. "For many of us, using only words to pray reduces God by the limits of our finite words."
For more information, including author events, examples and contact information torequest Sybil MacBethto do a workshop, visit www.prayingincolor.com.
UsePraying in Colorto help with:
•lectio divina -- reading the bible for spiritual growth
•prayers for discernment
•creating a personal Advent or Lenten calendar
•praying for enemies
Praying in Coloris ideal for:
•Intergenerational Education Classes
•Vacation Bible School and Summer Camp
•Staff Retreats on Prayer
•Summer Sunday School Classes
•Wednesday Night Church-wide Programs
•Senior Citizens Activity
•Youth Confirmation Retreats
•Men's Prayer Groups
•Prayer Therapy During Convalescence
•Kindergarten and Children's Prayer Training
•Homeschooling, grades K-12
•Ministry to the hearing impaired
•Ministry to the disabled
"This is the most invigorating and enabling book about prayer that I have seen in years! Wry, funny, accessible, wise beyond all appearances, and deeply spiritual, MacBeth warms the soul as well as the heart. So will praying in color." - Phyllis Tickle, compiler,The Divine Hours
Sybil MacBeth is a doodler, dancer, and former community college math professor. She is the 2010-2011 Varnell Artist-in-Residence for Memphis Theological Seminary. During 2009 Sybil wrote a daily Prayer Blog for Rick Warren's website, the Purpose Driven Connection. Her new blog, "The Praying in Color Blog" includes meditations, reflections and ideas about Praying in Color.