Do you feel frustrated because you feel disconnected from God, even though you pray or read your Bible. If so, you’re not alone.
If God is infinite (and He is), and if God is creative (and He is), then it seems to me that His creatures can connect with Him in an infinite number of creative ways. Unfortunately, many people have been told been told that deepening a relationship with Jesus occurs only by sitting down in a chair to pray or to read Bible passages at length.
Yes, you can connect with God in prayer and Scripture. But those are not the only ways you can draw near to Him. Here are a few creative ways you can connect with God.
1. Drawing With God
Grab some paper and colored pencils, markers, or crayons. Take a few deep breaths. Then write at the top of the page, “God and me.” Remaining quiet and relaxed, draw a picture of the two of you. Choose images, persons, animals or objects to represent God and you. You can use sizes, shapes, colors. Do not stop to think about how you should portray God or you want to appear. Don’t worry about being a Picasso. Just draw.
After a few minutes, talk to God about what you have drawn. Why have you chosen that particular color for God? For example, you might choose red because you thought He was angry, or blue because He felt as far away as the sky. What image have you chosen for God and why? Where are you in the picture in relation to God? Close or far away? Picture yourself like a small child who is describing a picture to her parent.
After describing it, sit and be quiet in the stillness of your prayer. Ask God what He would say in response to your picture. Listen for His response.
2. Journaling a Conversation with God
This is one of my favorite spiritual practices. To begin, write “Dear God,” or another favorite term you’ve adopted for God (Abba, Lord, Father). Then, write down what you are feeling in your heart and what’s on your mind. You can write about the ordinary things of your day. God loves to hear about those things; or you can write about something that’s troubling you. God wants to hear about those things, too. If you’re just in the mood to write, pick a topic: my deepest desire; my greatest fear; the ‘me’ that nobody knows about; my biggest confusion. Don’t censor or edit what you write. Just let the words flow.
Once you’ve written down what you wanted to say, skip a line or go to the next page in your journal. At the top of the page, write “Dear (Your Name).” Then write down a reply as if God were writing a letter to you about what you’ve written to Him. Again, don’t censor yourself or edit what you’re writing. Allow God to speak. You’ll be amazed at what happens.
3. Saying a Breath Prayer to God
Do you ever feel too stressed to stop and pray? Or do crave a really simple prayer to expresses what you’re feeling? Then try this activity. Find a place to be quiet and alone for a few minutes. Picture Jesus standing before you, asking: What do you want me to do for you? or What is the cry of your heart?
Wait and listen for the cry of your heart to emerge. In all probability, you will hear a lot of noise in your head and it will be difficult to listen to your heart. If more than one thing surfaces, look for the deeper theme. For example, if you want God to get along with your friends and your family better, your deeper need is love for others.
Once you’ve found that heart cry, identify how your address God in your prayer, such as Abba or Father or God. Or identify a name of God that coincides with the need of your heart. Here are some examples:
- Give me strength, O Christ (when you’re tired)
- Father, show me your love (when you feel unappreciated)
- Gentle Shepherd, carry me (when you are overwhelmed)
Sit quietly and repeat the phrase gently in your mind. As you inhale, voice the name of God (O Christ). As you exhale, voice the prayer (Give me strength). Repeat this process as you inhale and exhale slowly.
You can use breath prayer in lots of places, such as when you’re taking a walk or driving in the car or taking a shower. This prayer is helpful when your emotions are so stirred and you don’t know what to pray. Over time, the repetition of this prayer creates a time and space in which you become more aware of God, who hears your cry.
These are only a few simple ways to connect with God. What are some other creative spiritual practices you’ve used? Leave a comment with your suggestions.