Today's guest post is by a beautiful gal named Michelle. I invited her to share her creativity and how she uses it as a spiritual discipline. And yes, all those beautiful pictures are ones she painted. She's a-mazing. ...
The Spiritual discipline of prayer has always been difficult for me. Instead of having effective quiet time, my mind would be racing, making lists, having conversations with people, going grocery shopping, planning homeschool lessons, and who can pray and listen to God while they mind is totally checked out?
It wasn't for lack of trying that I wasn't achieving intimacy with God during our *ahem* "quiet time." I tried prayer journaling, kneeling, sitting up, standing up, (never lying down though, I'd be asleep in nano-second.) I tried everything. It wasn't until I discovered what I call Visual Prayer that I truly understood the worship that happens when intimacy happens.
Visual Prayer is on the unconventional side of the pendulum swing. It starts with images, Bible verses, paper, color, paint, glue and whatever is handy. In the process of cutting, gluing, putting brush to canvas, my mind stops its incessant chatter. Complete silence. I'd never known silence until this.
In this new found quiet, God showed up. Oh I'm sure He was there at other times, however, I'm certain I couldn't hear Him. Proof of the Spirit whispering and guiding comes in emails, Facebook messages, and face to face story. It keeps happening and I keep writing the stories down. These stories of the Spirit working through my art, my quiet time, my communion with the Father, continue to pour in as I pour out my heart and learn to become in tune with the heart of Jesus. This happens in the real quiet time, the "for real" solitude now happening.
When I "selfishly" started praying this way, I had no clue it would set me down a path of leading workshops, guest blogging, writing books about it. I call it selfish because it was self-serving, or at least I thought it was. So many times I'd heard messages, sermons, read books and blogs about prayer. According to most, I was doing what I *should* be doing, but I never felt quite right about it.
By doing visual art as prayer, I sort of felt like I was being unbiblical. But God is a creative God and I was seeking Him diligently. I wanted to please him. I knew in my heart that before Visual Prayer, I was not praying in a way that brought me to Him. Some might call Visual Prayer an accident or a coincidence, but I think God answered the prayer of my heart by giving me a way to please Him.
If you feel your spiritual disciplines are lacking, please know that in seeking to draw near to God, He will make your heart desire what's in His heart for you.
Don't give up. Please don't give up.
With grace falling heavy from His hands, He has given me the opportunity to be near Him, to bless others, and most importantly to bless and please Him. We're all unique. He knows this--it was His genius idea to create us that way. He knows what you need and He'll meet your needs. Your only requirement is to diligently seek Him with all your might.
You may find Visual Prayer helps you with that. It might be music. Or writing. I don't know what your thing is. But I do know it's there.
Wait on the promise of the Father.
Michelle Pendergrass is a writer, editor, foodie, homeschooler, and most recently a mixed media artist at Visual Prayer. She met her husband in a traffic jam nearly a decade ago and they're still newlyweds. She's a denominational mutt saved by grace and blessed beyond measure.