Sometimes when we pray there seem to be no words.  Romans 8:26b (NLT) says:  “the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words.”  Creative expression enables us to connect with ourselves and God on a unique level.  Beyond words, we are still able to relate to God and self.  Some of my clearest directions from the Holy Spirit have come in the process of creative expression.  Creating allows me to clear my mind of all the things I think I need to be doing.  As such, I more readily make space for God’s presence.  Creative expression acts as a thin place for me.  

In your sacred space, you could have things like construction paper, glue sticks, finger-paint, crayons, pencils, acrylic paints/watercolor paints, brushes, paper, etc.  All these tools can be used to express prayer and to reflect on scripture.    

Collage:  As a response to scriptures, and as you enter into a time of prayer, tear paper and then use the glue to create a visual representation.  As you tear the paper, be aware of your brokenness and the parts of life that need healing, wholeness, and restoration.  Think about this idea both personally and cosmically.  Surrender that brokenness.  Then begin to make a new creation out of the broken pieces.  It can be abstract.  Let the colors reflect your mood and where you are spiritually.  

Art Journaling:  A few weeks ago I advocated journaling.  In addition to writing, you can also create an art journal.  What is art journaling?  Art journaling involves using color, words, and images to express yourself and as a means of prayer. 

I recommend getting a large (11” X 14” at minimum) spiral bound pad of paper designed to either take watercolors or acrylics.  The beauty of this style pad is that it will lay flat and that you will be able to paint on both sides of the page.  I usually paint through a journal using all fronts of the pages then I just turn the journal over, and start over on the back sides.  

If using watercolors lay it down on a table.  If using acrylics, I recommend leaning it against a wall or placing it on an easel.  You can also use charcoals or pastels, as well as collage.  The point of an art journal is much like a regular journal, except that in addition to writing it involves creative visual representations.  As you dive into experimenting in art journaling, heed these words of guidance.  Turn off the voice of judgment.  It is more about the process than the product.  Art, in this scenario, becomes all about the process and not about the outcome.  Repeat after me, “It doesn’t matter what it ends up looking like.”  There is no right or wrong in art journaling.  Art journaling is a way to express yourself and connect with God through artistic expression.  An art journal is a safe place to allow yourself to explore.  This journal is your journal, meaning it is personal.  Put what you want in it.  Use whatever mediums (collage, painting, doodling, sketching, etc.) you desire.  As you sit (or stand) in your sacred space.  Look at the blank page before you.  What are you thinking?  What are you feeling?  What are your hopes and dreams?  What is the deepest desire of your heart?  Where in your life do you need a fresh word from God?  

Art journaling can also be a great way to reflect on the Lectio Divina process.  Grab a paint brush and paints, add some color to the page that reflects your mood.  You may be thinking something like, “But I am not an artist.”  Everything around us is made up of lines and shapes, lights and darks.  Start simple making lines and shapes that resonate with you.  Or grab a glue stick and some paper and begin collaging.  Try not to over think the process.  Just be in the moment -- you, God, and the journal.  Be sure to sign (or initial) and date each piece so that you can go back later and reflect upon where you have been.  

I hope you will consider trying artistic expression as a means of grace.  May God’s presence be made known to you in the process of creating.

Creator God, You have made us in Your image.  Help us to connect with You when we are creating.  

 All paintings, drawings, Ideas, and wording on this webpage are copyrighted by the artist.  
© 2010 Charissa Jaeger-Sanders.  All Rights Reserved.  You are welcome to use the ideas and suggestions found on this website, for no fee, as long as you give credit to Grace Works Studio.  However, if you Find this Website helpful, please consider giving a donation to Grace Works Studio to help continue its ministry.