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Praying in Color: Drawing a New Path to God
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Praying in Color: Drawing a New Path to God

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  649 Ratings  ·  101 Reviews
Connect the Spiritual and Color!

"Just as Julia Cameron, in The Artist's Way, showed the hardened Harvard businessman he had a creative artist lurking within, MacBeth makes it astonishingly clear that anyone with a box of colors and some paper can have a conversation with God."  —Pubishers Weekly

Need help communicating with God? Maybe you hunger to know God better. Maybe
Paperback, 110 pages
Published April 1st 2007 by Paraclete Press
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Robin Hatcher
I was interested in reading this book because I have begun to practice Bible art journaling, and I thought this might be a good tie-in. Not really and yet sort of. I liked the book and am using some of what I learned in my own prayer time since I can too often find my thoughts straying during prayer (so frustrating!). I believe that some of MacBeth's suggestions have succeeded in helping me stay focused on God during my quiet time.

This is not a deep, theological, scriptural book on prayer. It is
Oct 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This book is a fabulous little book that helped me to rethink what praying can look like. I highly recommend it.
Marshan Alma
Nov 23, 2014 rated it did not like it
Maybe I misunderstood the book. The author says that you can pray by drawing pictures and writing names in the pictures. I missed the part where she actually conversed with God. Now if she's using the drawings, to remind her of the people or subject matter, and then conversing to God then absolutely! Why a fun, new way to pray. But I thought that she simply write the names in the shapes and moved on the the next shape. How is that praying? That more like making a list. Prayer is conversing with ...more
Lisa Mcbroom
Feb 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A different sort of prayer book using colors and shapes to convey prayer. My favorite quote from the book comes from the author's son who at age 3 described God as a sort of patchwork quilt with every kind of skin, fur, shells, and feathers of every creature on earth.
Oct 07, 2010 rated it really liked it
An easy to read, inspiring book, which made me pick up some colouring pencils and PRAY!
Jan 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Praying in Color is a certain technique for intercessory prayer that mostly involves doodling while you meditate on each concern or person you are praying for. So far, I've found it helps me stay focused on praying and also lets me offer someone before God when I don't really know how to pray for them.
Jan 02, 2018 rated it liked it
The basic premise is a good idea, though not anything revolutionary to me. I didn't think a lot of the explanation was necessary. I appreciated the picture examples and the thorough explanation of lectio divina though.
Judy Owens
Nov 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
A whimsical yet profound, idea for turning doodling into beautiful, colorful prayers.
Feb 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
interesting concept. I enjoyed learning another method of prayer.
Christy Bower
I was immediately drawn to the title, Praying in Color. What a curious and vivid image! I had to know more because I’m an advocate for engaging God with both sides of your brain.

Silent prayer can be a challenge for anyone, but even more so if you are a visual person stimulated by color and design or a kinesthetic person who needs to keep your hands busy to keep your mind focused. This is the need solved by Praying in Color. The idea is to doodle while you pray—and the doodling itself can be a wo
Debby Zigenis-Lowery
Oct 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book! I read it in one sitting, just gobbled it up.

McBeth shares how she is eager and willing to pray for others, but finds her prayer time turns into something more like a series of prayer snippets as her short attention span--and don't we all have one of those nowadays!--keeps pulling her off topic.

The outcome of her actively seeking a ways to deal with this challenge is the book, Praying in Color. Basically, McBeth advocates for doodling your prayers. Sit down with paper, pens, a
Jun 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: prayer
Focusing mostly on intercessory prayer, Sybil MacBeth helps us 'Right Brain' people stay engaged in prayer through drawing our prayers (drawing a shape with the person's name in and continue to decorate their name, focusing on praying for the person as you draw). In the end, you have a visual representation of your prayer which continues to call you to prayer for that person (or people)

Of course she doesn't restrict herself to intercessory prayer. Macbeth also uses this technique to explore the
Emmaline MacBeath
Jan 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
Praying in color is a wonderful way of looking at prayer from a right-brained perspective. MacBeth shows you ideas of how to basically doodle around a person's name while putting your focus and energy into praying for this person. For those who are creative or kinesthetic, this is a wonderful out-of-the-box way of looking at prayer. The concept is not difficult. It is not time consuming. But by reading this book, you feel that you now have "permission" to do something different in your prayer li ...more
Feb 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
Prayer is hard for me. I can't stay focused. I'ved tried all sorts of lists and notebooks. By contrast, I have no trouble concentrating on Bible study. My spiritual life is 97% Bible study and 3% prayer.

I thought this book might help me. In a short 100-page, brightly colored book, the author describes how to use doodling as an aid to prayer. Basically, you are substituting images for words. You are praying for the person as you write his/her name on a piece of paper with gel pens or colored penc
Feb 13, 2008 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed reading this book and learning about how prayer can extend into every part of our lives. The author makes it clear that there is no one clear cut way to pray - that prayer can come just as much in creating a drawing as it can be sitting in silence. For a person like myself, who has a hard time carving out and settling my mind into silence, this is going to be a wonderful and awesome tool for my prayer life - that is my hope at least. I love the freedom it gives to be creative an ...more
A.C. Bauch
Feb 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
prayer has always been a struggling aspect of my spiritual life. so i joined a praying in color group at my church. thus, i wanted to read the book to learn more about the process. of course, this was a quick read; i got it in yesterday's mail and finished it in about two hours. even though i was already familiar with the basics of praying in color, i enjoyed reading more about why and how she developed the process, as well as learning different ways to use the method for other parts of my spiri ...more
Dec 29, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: catholic, nonfiction
This isn't really a Catholic book but it is a Christian book.

Thanks to the adult coloring fad, I began to look for a deeper meaning. Why are all these people coloring? Then someone said that it was meditative. Well, if it's meditative, then there must be some spiritual connection to coloring. This book helped me make the connection.

The author obviously studied some contemplative prayer, etc. She knows all the jargon. I appreciate the breadth of her knowledge.

All in all, though, this isn't for m
Pat Loughery
This is a fun and creative - and surprisingly profound - look at praying for other people in a different way. The author, a right-brained (math teacher), finds a way to express prayer in left-brained (doodling) activity. I loved it.

It's an easy read; I started it waiting for my bus to arrive and finished it before the bus commute was over. I found that I highlighted and made a lot more notes than I expected to, and the book spun off some other ideas about creative forms of prayer expression.

Luann Kern
Aug 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: faith-based
This book will turn your concept of prayer upside-down. When the table of contents shows the chapters numbered in reverse order, you know you're in for something a bit different. And the author does not disappoint. If you find yourself struggling to maintain a prayer life the way you've been taught to pray, fear not, for Sybil MacBeth opens our minds to the possibility that prayer can take place with our eyes open and our hands holding the colors of the rainbow. A breath of fresh air for our rel ...more
Allison Fetch
Mar 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
My church women's group will be holding a retreat next weekend and with this book as our basic guidance I wanted to give it a look ahead of time. I couldn't put it down and read it in a single 45 minute session - what great ideas for another method of prayer! Doodling my prayers seems very organic and natural to me and while it's not something I think I would do every day, I know I will enjoy adding it to my prayer repertoire. I'm looking forward to the retreat even more now, and can't wait to p ...more
Oct 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing
In the opening pages there's a list of 16 "dilemmas" that might hinder your prayer life. I qualified for 9 1/2 of those (one dilemma applied to me about half of the time) including fidgeting, mind-wandering and being task oriented & distracted. Sybil MacBeth hooked me right then to give this a whirl. After creating just one "icon" with some colored pencils, I'm sold. This method of prayer will still be a discipline to be mastered but for me it will flow better with more focus, intention, and ...more
Feb 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I was fortunate enough to have taken a one day seminar with the author. Praying in Color will be life changing for me. I love this approach to building a stronger prayer life and relationship with God. I found so much freedom in it. I lost myself in the exercises. It is a rare occasion when my mind's chatter stops. Even more rare that I was able to do something and not judge myself. As Sybil said, "Now there's Hallelujah moment!"
Sep 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a great little book about how to pray. As a Pastor, it's one of the questions I get asked a lot--a question that is usually in the form of a statement: "I just have trouble praying.". Here is a way to pray by short-circuiting your logic, critical brain, and use your artful, wistful brain. It's the premise of the author that if you can doodle, you can pray. So grab a piece of paper, some colored pencils, and doodle (pray) away!
Sonya Guidish
Apr 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: religious
Very simplistic book, written fine, but it just wasn't for me. I had high hopes for this to improve my prayer life, especially since I like to color inspirational and spiritual coloring books, it so far doesn't seem to be my thing. Of course that's not the writers fault. I will try a couple more times, but I am not hopeful. The fact that I'm a perfectionist made this process more difficult than it should be.
Feb 18, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I read a review of this book in Christianity Today, and then happened to find it a few days after at a book table at a conference I was attending. It is an AMAZING description of one woman's experiences with prayer. Having had trouble all her life staying "focused" while praying, she was able to discover a way to connect praying with doodling. I have been devouring all the resources I can on creative and/or multi-sensory prayer lately, and this is definitely a favorite.
Carol Beaver
Feb 15, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is opening ideas about new ways of praying. It takes ideas I learned about mind mapping when I was really focused on brain-based education and shows me ways of incorporating that same kind of thinking in my spiritual life. It just opens a dimension to open my heart in prayer, praise, and worship beyond words.
Nov 16, 2015 marked it as to-read
Recommended to Lydia by: Lauren F. Winner
Shelves: to-read-spirtual
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 11, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction, theology
I'm really glad I read this. I had been doing something like it for a while, and at first it was actually kind of cramping to try to do my prayers this way. But then I started doing kind of a mix. The lectio divina section has been really helpful and meaningful for me. It's a cool way to practice lectio without having to sit still and be quiet.
I resonated with her introduction about prayer dilemmas, which, let's be honest, any normal human being encounters. I liked her suggestions and her encouragement to freely marry art and prayer, though her style and particular approach did not always resonate with me. A little too brief and narrow in the approach as well.
Jun 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
If you want your prayers to have words and sentences you probably won't like this book. But if you love movement and color and art this is your book. I enjoyed it thoroughly and am finding it so much easier to spend time in prayer. Plus I like leaving drawings around the kitchen so I will be reminded often of the things I am praying about
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“..when someone says "please pray for me," they are not just saying "let's have lunch sometime." They are issuing an invitation into the depths of their lives and their humanity- and often with some urgency. And worry is not a substitute for prayer. Worry is a starting place, but not a staying place. Worry invites me into prayer. As a staying place, worry can be self-indulgent, paralyzing, draining, and controlling. When I take worry into prayer, it doesn't disappear, but it becomes smaller.” 20 likes
“To my surprise, I had not just doodled, I had prayed (I drew new shapes and names of each friend and focused on the person whose name stared at me from the paper). I had though OF each person as I drew but not ABOUT each person. I could just sit with them in a variation on stillness. I could hold them in prayer.” 8 likes
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