Year of Prayer August Prayer Practice: Praying through Creativity
We have explored a variety of prayer practices that use words, thoughts, silence, images, and other means to communicate with God. Just about anything we do as humans can be shaped into prayer. In August we will focus on prayer through creativity and creation.
The Bible begins with the story of God’s creation of the world, culminating in the creation of human beings. Human beings are made in the image of God. Over the millennia, people have contemplated what exactly being in the image of God implies. One of the most frequent answers is that humans were given the ability to create. Praying with creativity can help us connect to God through that special gift, as well as engaging parts of our being that we might not use in more word-based prayers.
Sometimes people are intimidated by the idea of creativity, claiming that they are not artists, or musicians, or writers, or dancers. Praying with creativity does not require that one have professional level skills. Instead, it engages, perhaps reawakening, the God-given power of creation. Daniel Wolpert in Creating a Life with God
observes that at base, most human activities involve creation: the creation of a home, a family life, a business plan, a meal. Even getting dressed in the morning is a creation of self-image and presentation. Recognizing the pervasiveness of creativity may help to free us to explore new realms of creative connection to God.
Throughout the month we will explore different aspects of creativity as they can be shaped into a prayer practice. These include a mindful consideration of how we shape our everyday activities. How does our creation of our home, our work schedules, our family life reflect our use of God’s creative power? How do our creative choices about our appearance and our households and landscapes show us to be authentic disciples of Christ? How might engaging in creative practices such as drawing, singing, dancing, or writing open new channels of communication with God? How might prayer open forgotten or suppressed forms of creativity in us?
The ability to create, order, and name things distinguishes us as creatures made in the image of God. Engaging creativity can help open us to new ways to address the issues we face in our community and the world. Praying through creativity can help us to grow as disciples of Christ for the transformation of the world.
Lord, make us who you want us to be.
Susan Haddox, Lay Leader