Book Review: Praying in Color

Book Review: Praying in Color

Author: Sybil MacBeth

Publisher: Paraclete Press ISBN: 9781557255129

Praying in Color: Drawing a New Path to God

I dearly love this winsomely delightful and creative little guide to prayer. I have, for years, been doodling and coloring when I pray. My journal is filled with a rainbow of colors, sketches, highlighted and embellished names, and other assorted scribbles that chronicle much of my prayer journeys. It was for this reason that I could not wait to read Praying in Color when I saw it offered in latest Paraclete Press product catalogue. My anticipation and excitement was duly rewarded! Not only do I feel encouraged and affirmed with my own  practices (pre-Praying in Color), but I have found new ways to build on my prayer habits as well as discovered how I might share this creative prayer practice with others.

At first glance, a person should be careful to judge a book by its cover, especially this one. It might be easy to assume that this style of prayer might be geared exclusively toward the creative person. This is not the case! I think everyone should give Praying in Color the chance it deserves to help people develop new prayer habits and perhaps truly draw a new path to God. I know from my own experience that many folks exist in a very narrow paradigm when it involves their understanding and practice of prayer. I believe opening oneself to new practices and experiences can broaden those narrow horizons. I think this is even truer when it relates to using different areas of the brain to connect and relate to God. There are so many positive possibilities when I consider how this style of prayer might create new memories and sensory responses in my prayer habits. I’m thinking too, what a great way for a family to spend an evening praying together in this way.

About the Book

The author has arranged her book in a very intuitive flow. It is light-hearted, but still takes the role of prayer very seriously all the while stressing that our prayer life can be filled with delight, joy, and fulfillment. She has provided many illustrations and examples—I think by her own hand—and reemphasizes through them that this method of prayer is not exclusively geared toward artists.


Part Four of the book was very enlightening to me. MacBeth offered some ideas to use this creative style of prayer in some ways I had not considered; some of these follow: creating a drawing that illustrates my personal spiritual journey, use words, drawings, and color to highlight or help verbalize a personal mission statement, and probably the most exciting idea was to incorporate this method in my personal times with Lectio Divina. She provided quite a few other novel (to me) ideas that look forward to trying out as well.

I cannot say enough how joyful this book makes me feel. I have a smile on my face even as I type out this review. I can’t wait to share this with a group. I am making plans to add this as a session in one of the retreats I lead on prayer. While this might not be for everybody, I think everybody should give it a try. You might be as surprised with holy delight as I have been.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Paraclete Press to read and post a review on my site. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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