As the parent of a millennial, I was taken back when I saw that child, as a college student, spend some of her free time coloring in books designed for people her age. I did not expect to see her or her friends sitting around coloring!
After getting "used" to it, I got a great picture of her sitting on the kitchen floor, leaning up against the kitchen cabinets coloring after we had moved she and our son-in-law into their new home several years ago. And now I see where this is not unique to my daughter or her friends, but to many adults who have used coloring to take a "pause" from their daily tasks and sometimes a grind to find that silent place to just release those things of life and rest.
A couple of years ago, I read about a new way to pray — Praying in Color. Author Sybil MacBeth wrote a book entitled, Praying in Color: Drawing a New Path to God. MacBeth is not a theologian or an ordained pastor. She is a math professor who found her prayer life falling short due to feeling like the prayers she was offering up for friends and family with various needs were simply "praying scared."
While on a teaching sabbatical she found herself getting lost in meditation and relaxation, she was doodling with colored pencils. In that process, she found herself writing the names of the people she had been praying for in the midst of her colorful doodling. From paper, colored pencils, and a proclivity to drawing lines and shapes she found herself praying in a new way! She said that her prayer time was "silent and wordless."
"I had thought of each person as I drew, but not about each person. The details of their prayer needs were spared and I could just sit with them in a variation on stillness. When the drawing was finished, there was a visual record of my prayers. The images stayed in my mind and I carried them...wherever I went."
I know each of us approaches prayer in a way that seems "comfortable" for us. Some are able to stand and share their joys and concerns during worship time. Some are able to allow a prayer and anointing to be a method of their prayer life. Some are great at being "prayer angels" on the behalf of others. Others may like to write down their prayers on paper, or even draw them. And some, would rather not be asked to pray in public. I get that. That's why, as a pastor, I try to find various ways to not only allow everyone to have a way to pray in their own way, but also to challenge us to consider other ways to come to God in moments of offering prayers or simply sitting and listening for God's prompting.
This Sunday, during worship, we are going to practice a mode of prayer where we use "color" to express our prayer needs. No, there will be no colored pencils and paper. You won't feel you will need to keep within the lines. However, there will be a special way to come together as a community of faith to pray.
Parents, I hope you will be here with your kids because I want to take some time to talk to them about "praying in color," and will have an activity for them to work on during worship, but also to join the congregation during Prayer Time."
Pastor Steve Welker
Oct. 22 – Jesus and the "Gotcha" Question – Matthew 22:15-22
When our emotions are running high, it's easy to get hooked and drawn into arguments that resolve nothing and help no one. Attempting to model Jesus is a way of maturing spiritually.
Oct. 29 – Should the Sign on Our Door Say "Only?" – 1Thessalonians 2:1-8 (The Message Translation)
The 500th anniversary of Martin Luther tacked his 95 "talking points" on a door of the castle church in Wittenburg is being celebrated by various denominations that call themselves "Protestant." So how does the Apostle Paul help us understand Luther's reason for stating his faith in such a revolutionary way? For both, there is only one way.