Using Prayer to battle restlessness


If I am going to be honest, prayer is something I have greatly struggled with in recent years. There was a period of tragedy and unanswered prayers that kept me from even contemplating the idea of prayer.

I’ve avoided it for a while, all the while telling God that I was avoiding it.

I’ve since been doing much reading on the subject. Reading is my thing when I am trying to work something out within myself. I’ve read all sorts of books on prayer, while praying that God would give me some kind of grand enlightenment on the subject.

I wish I could say there was a lightbulb moment, but there wasn’t. Slowly, I realized that I never really stopped praying; that I was just praying through my doubts, hashing them out with God. I also realized that maybe my idea of what prayer needed to look like was wrong.

I can no longer spend 30 minutes in prayer while driving in the dark to work each morning like I did before I became a stay-at-home mom. I get much less uninterrupted chunks of time alone, and even in those times when I am alone my mind often races and is unable to focus.

Coloring prayers

While I often talk to God throughout my day, I also wanted to figure out a way to have a more intentional prayer time. What I ended up with was adult coloring books. Seriously, have you seen these!? I often google “printable adult coloring pages” or “geometric coloring pages” and print them out to save money.

There is something about being busy with my hands that helps me to focus. I will often write names or other keywords into leaves or other small areas of the coloring page and pray for them as I color. It works for me. I can even sit at the table and color with my kids.

Coloring prayer during the school day.
Coloring prayer during the school day.

The book, Praying in Color, is the general inspiration behind this idea. While the author doesn’t use coloring pages, I started out doodling after reading her book and then decided coloring was more of my style.

Praying Scripture

If there is room around the edge of the paper I am coloring, I often add verses I want to focus on during prayer:

I am confident in this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.  Psalm 27
“God, please help me see your goodness here today”.

Or just verses of praise:

Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom.  Psalm 145 

While I know this is not the only way to pray, it has been a blessing to me and given me tangible way to focus. What about you, what does prayer look like for you?

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