One: Word Collage
Time Required:1 hour
a simple first step you’ll probably enjoy as we jump
into art and
prayer. It’s useful as a daily “check-in”or
when you’re having trouble identifying what’s
going on in your life,so you may want to go back to this exercise
again and again.
thank you for bringing me to a place of hopefulness. Help
me to be myself, to let go,and to see you in this prayer.
Gather the following materials before you begin this exercise:
large piece ofconstruction paper. Buy a pack and select
the color that
appeals to you just before you begin. If you like this method
after a few
times, bind the collages together to form a journal. The
themes will be important to revisit as you move deeper into
markers or colored pencils.
a quiet,comfortable place where you feel safe and willing
freely to God. You might consider going to an empty church
or a garden, or taking a hike into the woods. Follow these
deeply, starting from deep within your abdomen and
breathing up into your chest, all the way up to your
if you can lengthen your breathing so that your inhalation
exhalation are equal, pausing between them for just
a couple of
seconds. After breathing this way four or five times,
let your breath
return to normal.
God to bless this time and help you be more willing
yourselfover to your Creator.
to meditate on this question: What interferes with
tionship with God?
As thoughts begin to materialize, take the markers and
words or phrases that come to mind. Be sure to reserve
one of the
colors for later in the exercise.
the thoughts come as fast as they can; don’t pause
to analyze or judge them. There are no right or wrong
words to use when praying with God. Just let your words
and thoughts flow. If you show
anger, remember that the psalmists did too. If you use
words, be thankful that God allows you to be honest.
creative. Write words upside down, diagonally, in a
pattern—however you choose. Begin to let your
inner artist come
the thoughts stop coming, look over what you’ve
there any themes? Do the themes spur you to consider
thoughts? If so, jot them down on the page.
a minute or two to relax and live with your responses.
judge them. Just live with them.
take the colored marker you’ve reserved and write
comes to mind when you consider God’s response
to what you’ve
written. Again, be creative. Let God’s response
be woven into your
words—upside down, diagonally, whatever comes
to mind. Does
God have doodles to record? Does God respond with whimsical
curls and designs?
you have trouble imagining God’s response, ask
you’ve been waiting for God to say to you. What
would God say if
you were playing on the schoolyard together or running
road side by side? In other words, what would God as
to say to what you have discovered?
you are finished receiving God’s response, take
time to look
at the collage again. How does it make you feel? Take
time to really
live with it and let it sink in.
your eyes closed, breathe deeply, as you did at the
of the exercise. After four or five deep breaths, let
return to normal and say “Amen.”
Was it easier to identify your feelings than to tell God
how you felt?
Why or why not?
feelings did you experience? Did your feelings change when
considered God’s response to what you’d written?
surprises came your way?
did you learn about your relationship with God?
for the Journey
Make a list ofthe times in your life when you’ve been
honest with God.
Why was it possible at those times? Any time you hold things
from God, go to this list and see how you not only survived
you were strengthened.
about your best friend. What makes it possible to be yourself
with that person? How could that relationship influence
life with God?
down how you feel each day at the top of a journal page
the margins of your calendar. Use the writings as a cheat
©2006 Michael Sullivan