Middleham and St. Peter's Parish


Praying in Color (or Doodle Praying)

Posted by Joan Shisler on

Praying in Color

(or Doodle Praying)

Being able to read is a gateway to being able to live life to the fullest.

Being able to pray is a gateway to having a relationship with God.

When I was working on my Masters of Education in Reading I learned that there are many ways people learn to read and strategies to use to teach reading based on the individual’s strengths and weaknesses.  Learning the alphabet and the sounds letters and combinations of letters make is the basic foundation for learning to read.  Visual, auditory, tactile, and kinesthetic options are used to achieve success. One unique method used for some dyslexic individuals is Words in Color whereby color coding letters and letter combinations enables the learner to decode the words and master the skill of reading.  The idea of using colors to teach reading seemed perfect, especially for children, whose natural creative ability is unleashed by coloring at a very early age.  While memories of a box of Crayola crayons linger, the creativity seems to diminish with age. 

These days coloring books are available for all ages. Some are quite sophisticated and the expectation of utilizing the proper tools; colored pencils and fine tipped markers, and coloring within the lines of the designs, is encouraged.  Sometimes, though, the kid in us resurfaces and creativity begins to flow again.

How many of you have doodled?  Not everyone can draw, but everyone can doodle.  How many of you pray?  Praying and doodling actually go together very well.  The act of doodling helps your mind focus on your prayers and increases your ability to engage with God.   Whether it’s just a name or a phrase, enhancing it with prayer doodles and coloring them creates a spiritual intensity that brings you and your thoughts closer to God. 

How, where, when and why you pray is a completely individual experience.  Sometimes I pray on the go, whenever and wherever I’m inspired to reach out to God.  Sometimes I’m more focused; when I pray before I go to sleep, when I wake up in the morning or when I’m in church.  When you intentionally have a piece of paper and write down who you want to pray for and what you want to say to God, and then doodle around and color it in, you truly have a connection with God.  You can use a computer, tablet or phone as well.  Praying for others (intercessory prayers), or for yourself (prayers of petition) is limitless.  There is no right or wrong way or time or place to do it; it’s simply letting your creative energy flow and reaching out to God.

Creative praying inspired by colors and visual doodling is one way to give you the freedom to pray any way you want.  In her book, Praying in Color, Sybil MacBeth guides us to release our inner creativity by doodling and coloring our way to praying with intention and focus, ultimately resulting in a satisfying, calming and spiritual experience. Prayer is the world’s greatest wireless connection.  Prayer is a very powerful.  Through prayer we are able to communicate directly with God and if we listen closely, we can hear Him.  Prayer is how we can petition Him regarding our needs and the needs of others and also thank Him for the blessings He has so graciously bestowed upon us.  Prayer gives us a chance to tell Him we are here to do His will and ask Him to guide us so that we can do so.

Try it, you’ll like it!  During July and August take some time to try prayer doodling and coloring.  Use whatever tools you are comfortable with or whatever you have on hand.  Your doodles can be as simple or intricate as you feel guided to produce.  Pray for whomever or whatever you choose.  God created you to be you.  Now try creating a prayer doodle to stay in touch with God.  Just pray!


Praying in Color = 

P r a y i n g + doodling+ coloring

Here are some reasons to Pray in Color and enhance your praying experience:

1) You want to pray, but words escape you

2) Sitting still and staying focused in prayer are a challenge.

3) Your body wants to be part of your prayer

4) You want to connect with God, but don’t know how. 

5) Listening to God feels like an impossible task. 

6) Your mind wanders and your thoughts ramble. 

7) You want a visual, concrete way to pray. 

8) You are not quite sure how to pray.

9) You need a new way to pray.

10) This is your chance to pray creatively.


Here’s how to get started:

Write your name for God on a piece of paper using a pen, a pencil, colored markers, colored pencils, colored gel pens or crayons.

Draw / doodle a shape around it or make the name or reason for the prayer a shape of its own.

Then you can either add more shapes, squiggles, dots, dashes and lines to your paper and put the names of the people you want to pray for or something you are praying for inside one of the shapes or start with names and prayers and doodle around them. 

Color your designs any way you want.

As you doodle, ask God to be a part of your prayer time with or without words.

Be free to create from there.


Joan Shisler

Senior Warden