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Pray with a Coloring Book

Pair the physical act of coloring with the spiritual act of prayer.

How a coloring book can help you pray.

Almost no one in publishing saw it coming.

Many of the hottest-selling books of 2015 are coloring books. You read that right, coloring books. But these are not your childhood coloring books. Some feature detailed floral designs or geometric patterns. Others specialize in cats, dogs, landscapes or seascapes. But they all provide intricate line illustrations to be colored in. Some coloring samples are even available free online. 

Many therapists and counselors recommend “adult coloring books” as coping mechanisms to relieve stress or aid mindfulness. But they can also be an accompaniment to prayer.

There are numerous ways to pair the physical act of coloring with the spiritual act of prayer. For example, you might obtain a coloring book of inspirational designs or Bible verses and, as you color each one, let the design guide your thoughts and words.

Or, use the colors of your crayons, pencils or markers to suggest the pattern of your prayers. For example, while coloring in purple (a “royal” color), praise God as your King and Lord. When using a red crayon, talk to God about the things you’d like to stop doing or stop suffering or experiencing. When you pick up a green crayon, talk about things you’d like God to add or allow in your life. Yellow for confession, maybe. Brown for thanks and blue for supplication and intercession. And so on.

You can even pray in color with others. Invite a few friends to color with you and, whether you each color a different image or the same design, speak and sing your prayers to God as suggested by the movement of your hands and the beauty unfolding before your eyes.

Or devote different sections of your page or designs in the pattern to the people for whom you want to pray. For example, while coloring the large flower in the upper corner, pray for Calleigh. While coloring the next flower, pray for Miles. And so on.

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You don’t have to feel pressure to finish a page or design in one sitting or to “accomplish” anything. It’s not about completion; it’s about communion.

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