Illuminated Prayers

I do not joke when I say that for a period of my life, the first three years of my son’s life to be exact, my prayer life consisted of

"Lord Jesus, please PLEASE help them fall asleep.

 Please. Make them fall asleep. Please help me."

I was so desperate, so helpless, and sooooo tired. I have had shame about this pathetic state of my prayer life; it was so petty and too simple.

Last night at our weekly small group, we read the chapter in Paul Miller’s A Praying Life, entitled: Learning to be Helpless. He explains why PRAYER=HELPLESSNESS , and a little shadow of my prayer life shame was lifted. A bit. Stubborn, my pride is.

This reminder, from this book which I have read twice before and am now going to pick up and read again, brought me to share this exercise I actually did with a sweet little crew of 10 year old girls. We made Illuminated Prayer Books or at least my booklet translation of one.illprayercover

My daughter wanted a book club, so I chose a book and made an art project. We read Marguerite Makes a Book  by Bruce Robertson and Kathryn Hewitt since we are studying medieval history this year and illuminated manuscripts seemed like a good place to start.  We looked at some examples of illuminated books of prayer, and then they designed and painted their cardstock covers.img_2941

We then did a simple sewn binding, and they were sent home with their books, with insidesillprayer1 waiting to be designed and colored. 

I chose Psalm 86 as the prayer for this book because it is a psalm I have written out and prayed through many times when I am not sure where to go in my prayer life.

Here is a free printable of the Psalm 86 booklet. I recommend opening with Adobe Reader and selecting the booklet printing option.

If your budget allows, print it out on nice thick watercolor paper and paint each page. How gorgeous. Or as we do here, use the trusty ole’ color pencils. My  beloved pack of Prismacolor is from my college days (almost 20 years ago!!!!) and worthy every penny. However, this page below was done using very cheap color pencils and they were just fine. illprayer2I would color a little each time I read through the Psalm, or camp out on one page, reading truth over and over while I drew and colored. Each time I go back to this booklet, I add something. Hopefully this exercise will be a relaxing and enjoyable way to commune with our Heavenly Father, who loves you and wants to hear your heart. Whether it’s a simple cry for help or a reciting of a Psalm.  illprayer3

Please share with us your illuminated prayers, whether from this project, or your own. We would love to share them on our Instagram feed!


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