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#PrayLent Week 3

by Fiona Fidgin

Praying with Art

Welcome to our resource sheet for our Lent Course – Pray Lent. This week we are praying with art. You can follow my conversation with Dr. Carol Marples from the Soul Marks Trust who talks about how art can help her connect with God in a deeper way than words.

Soul Marks Trust

The Soul Marks Trust encourages and enables creativity using all the senses, particularly through the visual arts, to express and inspire faith in God. Carol Marples leads workshops in art and prayer, art and spirituality, art and worship, developing quiet spaces and works at festivals, conferences, retreats. You can book onto her workshops both onsite and online. All details are on the website.

Art and Prayer Workshops

Using the visual arts as a tool, these workshops provide a safe hospitable environment in which to reflect, imagine, express and explore the inner self and listen to the voice of God.

No artistic experience is necessary as people are encouraged to participate wherever they are on their own artistic and spiritual journeys.

The Art and Prayer Workshops were begun by Carol at Leith School of Art in 1999 and became foundational to the Soul Marks Workshop oeuvre. Regular Advent and Lent workshops were held at Leith School of Art, Lochiehead, Fife and later at St. James Church. One-off Art and Prayer workshops offered held at different locations, times and on a variety of themes. Workshops have been held in churches, retreat centre, grand houses, and cottages and locations have ranged from Peebles to Inverness, Dunoon to Catterline and Ayrshire to Memphis, TN.

Scripture reading

A reading from Isaiah 43:1-2

But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. 2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.

Each week you’ll be given a prayer challenge!

This may not be your way of praying, you may love it or hate it, you might encounter new ways of praying… the invitation is just to give it a go!

Listen to Carol’s invitation on the video to pray with Isaiah 43: I have called you by your name.

  • How might you draw your name?

  • At different stages in your life?

  • What colours will you use?

  • What shapes?

Carol also invites you to pray using your fingerprint. She is suing soil and water to create a fingerprint pattern – what could you use?

Using colour and pattern as prayer

Come to a place of stillness and choose your paper, pens, pencils, crayons…

Allow someone you wish to pray for come to mind

  • What comes to mind as you pray?

  • What colours are you thinking about using?

  • Why have you chosen these colours?

  • What do they say?

  • What do they mean?

You can put some of the initials of the people that you wish to remember and pray for…

Is there anything from the imaginative contemplation of last week that you wish to bring to your prayer. “What do you want me to do for you?” asks Jesus

Using colours pencils or pens fill in the circle and shapes in any way you would like.

Perhaps as you do this bring to mind the people and places and situations you wish to bring to God.

Think about who you are connected to and how you are connected affects the whole the whole world.

In shape and in colour in whatever form you choose – use this sense of connectedness in your prayer time this week.

Below is a mandala pattern that you could use.

A mandala design


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