A Creative Way to Pray

CE09.13-6Here I am again splashing this heart of mine again, split wide open on a page.  Because brave is real and brave is see-through.

This last year I’ve walked one step at a time, one breath at a time rising above the storm by grace and grace alone.  The ways I prayed before somehow have been stripped away by the gales ripping at the edges of my heart.

I couldn’t pray the way I had before.  I just couldn’t.  But I couldn’t not pray either.

My face throbbing, my heart broken, my mind scrambled, my body beaten up, my emotions somewhere between raging, raw and numb… “soaking prayer” only meant soaking through a box of tissue.  All the ways I’ve heard and sensed and saw Jesus before have been somehow dim and faint, if not totally disconnected.

But I’ve been in this kind of wilderness before.  And I know He is closer than the air I breathe even if everything in and around me screams the opposite.  I know the wilderness is a beautiful place of establishing something deeper in me than could ever be planted in a greenhouse where all is easy and comfortable.  And so I thank Him for the wilderness times.

I found when I couldn’t pray in words, I could pray in paint and color and image.  I could sit with Jesus in my studio and create. And little by little my heart began to come back to life.

My drafting table became an altar to offer the broken pieces of my life on, color saying what words could not. 

It wasn’t about the end product at all, it was about the process, about meeting Him in the process.  We so often focus on product when God is far more concerned with our hearts simply being with Him on the journey.

Some of you reading may be thinking, well I just don’t hear God period.

But beloved you can and I’d venture to say you do hear Him, probably far more than you realize.

As God has been opening this new chapter, I’ve just started a site called Sketchbook Prayers.   There I’ll be sharing images from my prayer and devotional journals.  I’ll also be opening the community aspect up for specific submissions if you decide to join us in Creative Prayer Journaling and have a page or two you’d like to share for possible posting.

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Stepping out can be a scary thing.  Blank pages and unknown terrain can be intimidating.  Trust me I get it.  This is a journey that has come full circle for me, as prayer journaling is how Jesus trained me as a teenager to interact with His voice and Scripture. It is my joy to be able to share with you something so central to my walk with Jesus.

You don’t have to be an artist or even consider yourself creative. You don’t have to be able to draw or sketch or paint. All you have to be is hungry for more of Jesus.  And be open to meet with Him in the text, in the moment, in the silence, in the struggles, in the triumphs.  Might that be you?

Then, please, pull up a chair and settle in.

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Creative Prayer Journaling  as a method is my original modern twist on the ancient Celtic contemplative practice of infusing creativity into the way they interacted with God.  Creative Prayer Journaling uses visual journaling techniques and marries them with contemplative postures of prayer. It makes space and invites you to gaze at, interact with, process, reflect, enjoy, see with new eyes, receive, gain insight, experience and behold the beauty of Jesus in Scripture, in prayer and in life.

I am available to come and lead retreats {this makes for a wonderful creative weekend event!}. I’m starting to give workshops on Creative Prayer Journaling in the North Florida area this year and can customize them to serve your church, ministry, team/small group.  I’m also traveling again starting in 2015 on a limited basis beyond Florida as my health permits.

If any of this is of interest, please please let me hear from you.  Just drop me a line here, tell me what’s on your heart and we’ll see what God does!  Always and ever grateful for each of you friends.  Always.

You are loved-

Michele