coloring and prayerFor many of us, simply slowing down long enough to pray is tough. We plan to sit down and pray. We mean to sit down and pray. I don’t know about you but as soon as I sit down, the phone rings, the dryer buzzes or the cat decides that one of the houseplants needs to be un-potted.

It helps when I have a bit of motion to focus on. Sometimes I use my prayer beads, counting out my concerns bead by bead. Sometimes I pray as I weed the flower beds, pulling up crab grass runners while I send up blessings for whoever needed that fire truck that just went past. Lately, I’ve been praying and coloring.

First, I read a blessing in Beth Richardson’s Christ Beside Me, Christ Within Me. I have a thing for Celtic blessings. I don’t know if it is the focus on the everyday, lifting our mundane tasks up to God for blessing. Or maybe it’s the repetitive nature that yields a song-like feel. They tend to be simply worded and straightforward.

Then I pull out a handful of colored pencils and flip open my coloring book. I may be the slowest colorist in the world but that’s okay. It gives my busy hands and my monkey mind something to do while I pray.

Today, I colored in violet bands of water and asked for blessings on the educators who are setting up a new school in our district. Right now, it is one class but next year it will be a gifted middle school. I colored in blue bands of water and asked for blessings for the teachers and the staff and the students. Next came green water, both in bands and surrounding the fish. As I colored, I asked for blessing for those who know God and know how much he does in our lives. I asked for blessings for those who deny God because they think they are in control. I also prayed for those who simply have no clue that God is out there.

Coloring and Celtic blessings. One keeps my hands and mind just a bit busy. The other directs my prayers. I’m not sure who I’ll be showering blessings on tomorrow but I know I’ll find inspiration in Christ Beside Me.

Maybe the combination of coloring and blessings will work for you as well.