prayer

Prayer and Paint Workshop Afterglow

Photo slideshow from the workshop...

Below are some photos from the Prayer and Paint workshop that I held on Saturday at Summerbridge (take a look at the new website---->) church that we are a part of.  I was thrilled that so many came and in the end we had around 20 people approx.! 

The workshop's aim was to explore the idea of using the medium of paint with prayer and reflection.  This is really close to my heart and has been so for some time now.  I really care about this aspect of my personal creative/reflective time and so wanted to offer this personally as a 'way in' for people that wouldn't necessarily paint or consider themselves 'creative'.  

I began by encouraging everyone to write out in pencil, without censoring, their worries, fears, anxieties; however small and to let them just pour out (side note: I ran out of paper).  I absolutely love this process and find it cleansing and such a relief to 'get it all out'. 

We then covered over our writing with gesso (white primer) and let that dry.  The idea being that by covering over our 'junk', we can 'start again', refresh and re-boot with Jesus' help.  We continued with another layer; this time with willow charcoal sticks.  I like to sketch out imperfect faces and encouraged others to do that or, to find their own way.  Some examples of what came out of this stage were: flowers, portraits, buildings, pattern, a wall, shapes and lots of mark making.

My piece from the workshop - a bit psychedelic, I think...

My piece from the workshop - a bit psychedelic, I think...

I really enjoyed having people of all ages present.  We had a few men, younger children, teenagers, mid-life and older adults and it felt lovely to combine this experience with them all.

Next, we got out paint and began to add colour - it was akin to bringing light, warmth and 'nourishment' to our pieces.  Again, this idea of covering over the heartache/worries and lighting everything up with technicolour - so great.

Some people covered over their charcoal layer with something new, whilst others 'coloured-in' with the paint and added lots of vibrancy to the charcoal underdrawing.  All of it was just right.

I recognised that this could be challenging for people because putting the 'logical' side of the brain to one side is foreign to so many of us and can feel counterintuitive.  However, as the workshop went on, I sensed that more people were managing to do this and to appreciate the process rather than the end result.

We then finished the workshop by eating together and enjoying our shared buffet that everyone had contributed to.  A perfect way to spend a few hours on a Saturday. 

I think in a smaller setting it would have been lovely to have had a mutual time of prayer and reflection in a way that felt right for that individual.  I also think doing this at home would be fabulous with a few additions: lighting a candle, putting on some soft music, making a pot of tea and lastly, opening up your bible. 

Prayer is the key of the morning and the bolt of the evening.
— Mahatma Gandhi

Lastly, I think this would be a beautiful practice to do as a family, with your children, your church, with a special friend, prayer partner or perhaps your spouse (maybe??? lol).  

Anyway, I hope this inspires you to give this a go and please let me know how you get on... 

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Time to pray - an idea to help keep focused

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I take time out each morning to pray.   Lately there's been a number of challenging things happening to quite a few of our very close friends and family members and if I'm honest it's felt a little overwhelming. Love is Always the Answer...

I've also noticed that I easily lose track of some of the situations I've prayed for and often don't remember that the prayer has even been answered!  Take the other day - my son Joseph has had some problems with settling down to sleep at night like many children do with autism.  It was getting quite bad and I was really worrying to know what the best way forward for him was.  So, eventually the 'penny dropped' and I prayed about it (duh - when will I learn!).  The upshot was that I got some help really quickly for Joseph and it's now really turned things around for him.

Jeremiah 29:13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. (NIV)

time to pray cards

So to keep my thoughts and prayers really focused, I'm now combining my 'normal' journal with prayer cards (index cards).  To start with, I wrote out a card for each of my three children and my husband.  Then cards for other family members and a few specific people to pray for.  From there, I wrote cards for short-term and long-term requests.  Then one for answered prayers.  Finally, the last three cards are for my business, self-improvement and 'arrow' prayers (for any immediate need).

I've found it's really helped me to organise my thoughts and monthly dreams to not get too over-burdened with stuff flying around in my head all the time - which is no help!  Each day, I just move the cards to the next day in my journal and I'm all set.  I no longer have to look back in my journal or leave someone out of my prayers simply because I can't keep it all in my head.

Meanwhile, in my journal, I still write down general day-to-day stuff and also any inspiring quotes, poetry or something I've read that's really resonated with me.   I also like to write down my three favourite moments of the day (when possible).

prayer journal

This time of prayer and reflection is so worthwhile and I sincerely encourage you to try it for yourself if you don't already.  For me, it's my way of acknowledging my faith and to feel His presence within me.  This makes all the difference to my day and how I interact with others.

prayer time

Some of you may already have your own prayer practice, meditation, mindfulness, reiki, visualisation etc.  Please reply in the comments below if you have a thought you would like to share.

prayer time - heart in foliage

Jane xo

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