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praying in color October 24, 2007

Posted by abi in life, ministry, youth ministry.
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Praying in Color is a prayer exercise I recently learned at a youth leader get together with my presbytery.  It’s a neat, emergent-type of thing.  There is a book by Sybil MacBeth called: Praying in Color: Drawing a New Path to God that explains it more fully, but basically you color while you pray.  You can pray for people by writing their name or using a color to represent them and just doodling as you meditate or pray silently.  You don’t have to be a good artist or worry about it looking good – the important part is the process and letting it help you focus on God. 

I liked the idea of praying in color a lot, since I’m an artist, and also into art therapy, but I wasn’t sure when I would use it in youth ministry.  This weekend however ended up being the perfect opportunity.  I knew Sunday morning was going to be hard on everyone.  And the student whose mother died actually ended up coming to church.  I knew she didn’t want to talk a whole lot about it, but we needed to somehow acknowledge the death and let everyone process it in some way.  So I started high school Sunday School out by just mentioned all that had happened that week and how rough it all was.  I told them that we were going to pray for the student’s family and all those who had lost someone or been impacted by death this week.  But we were going to do that by praying in color.  I handed out paper and crayons and told them what it was about – also that they could choose not to color, just to please stay quiet and respectful of those who were.  It went really well – they were all so intent and focused that we continued praying and coloring for about 15 min., then I ended with “we lift all these prayers up to you Jesus.  Amen”.

It was a good, therapeutic way for us as a youth group to process the death of the student’s mother.  And I think it’s a great way to try praying at other, not so tragic times.  Some students will be more helped by it then others, but its worth trying with everyone once I think.  Hope it helps you as much as it has me.

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