Tactile Prayers

Stuck on what words to use in prayer? Get out your colouring pencils instead!

Tactile Prayers was created as an alternative form of prayer that has both depth and simplicity. With various templates, you can colour/write/draw/scribble/imagine/whatever. Let this form of prayer open up a different way to connect with God and to pray for others at this time.

When there is so much ‘going on’ but not lots show for it, engaging in writing or drawing are great ways to express some of the thoughts/feelings that are swirling around at a time like this. It may seem like simple colouring, but God hears and sees our prayers as we engage in creative expressions of intercession.

Be it prompts for writing your own paraphrases of scripture, or colouring a world ‘made new’ imagining God’s Kingdom coming, there’s something for everyone in this mini-version of Tactile prayers. You can print from home in this 16-page download version, or just choose a page that you are led to on a particular day.

Rowan Cant, the creator of Tactile Prayers and the husband of Kirstin Cant (NZCMS Mobiliser), has created a specific version focused on ‘prayers for others’ for NZCMS to use. If you like this resource, click here to find more.
 

Stone Prayers

I pick up a stone, I hold it in my hand, I turn it over and over. I feel its smoothness, its roughness, its weight and shape. I clench it tight and let it lie in my hand. I place the stone before the lit candle on our table.

The action of holding these stones in my hands is a helpful way for me to engage in praying for others. When I take a stone, I am remembering someone I am journeying with; someone struggling, a community in need overseas, a Mission Partner, or a friend or a family member.

Sometimes words seem inadequate as a form of prayer and we don’t always know how or what to pray. But holding these stones and placing them before the ‘Christ candle’ is a way of prayer that helps me to remember others. As I lay the stones before the candle it is also an action that means I am ‘letting go’ and laying them before God, knowing Him to be the one intimately at work in their lives. While I feel far away, or helpless, or like I am ‘carrying’ that person, in laying down the stone I am also remembering that God is the one who can and will bring forth life, love, comfort, hope, peace, redemption, healing and wholeness for this community or individual.
 

Clenched Fists to Open Palms

Begin by clenching your fists. Hold it. Don’t rush the opening; let the fists remain tight and acknowledge all that they represent. Do your tight fists represent your fears? Your anxiety about the future? Your confusion and discomfort? Your longing for control? Whatever we are holding so tight in our fists. Hold it. Feel it.

Maybe you want to clench your fists as you pray for others: For world leaders, Mission Partners, Communities without medical facilities. People unable to access enough food. Identify with their clenched fists; the fears and anxiety they are living with at the moment.

“Don’t be afraid” calls the voice, just as the angels said to Mary at the tomb. Yes, we don’t know what’s ahead specifically, and that is terrifying. But God is ahead, beside, within.

When you are ready, slowly unfurl your hands, turn your hands face up as an act of surrender, willingness and openness. Know yourself and those you are praying for are held by God’s hands.

Here are words to say as you pray:

God-with-us as we clench our fists;
We acknowledge our fears, our clining to safety and control.
God-with-us as we unfold our hands;
Help us to surrender to Your Kingdom ways.
May we grow in trusting Your love, Your forgiveness, Your freedom and Your Peace.
We pray for those experiencing paralyzing fear and anxiety through all of this change in our World.
Prince of Peace, Spirit of Comfort, be with them and bring about Your Kingdom ways in their lives.


This prayer practice is adapated from Southwark Anglican, Church of England. Photo by Cristian Newman on Unsplash
 
 

Lament as Faithful Prayer

This week NT Wright wrote a poignant piece about the role of the Church and Christians in our COVID/pandemic world. You can read the full piece. He outlines the importance for the Church to engaging in prayers of lament. To lament is to be faithful witnesses with God at this time, not coming up with cheap fixes or answers, but sitting in the chaos and pleading with God for all that has gone awry in the World and in that honest-facing of all the brokenness, to wait, hope and expect God’s Kingdom and Redemption to break through.

“Lament is what happens when people ask, “Why?” and don’t get an answer. It’s where we get to when we move beyond our self-centered worry about our sins and failings and look more broadly at the suffering of the world….”

Our UK CMS Whanau had in fact prepared for Lent this year a space specifically for Lament (created before we hit the intensity of pandemic we now face). That’s a move of the Spirit!

We invite you to participate in this #lamentspace as a prayer of faithfulness in this chaotic time for our country and world. You can write here on the NZCMS facebook page your laments and /or post on UK CMS’ website here.

 

 

Circle Prayer for our Mission Partners

As the world stops and restricts itself more and more, we as NZCMS continue to reach out. We are looking beyond ourselves to be praying with and for our Mission Partners who are around the world, being people of peace and hope in their local communities. NZCMS will be sending out specific prayer requests for some of our Mission Partners to help inform our prayer. However, for security reasons, some of our Mission Partners are not able to be named on digital or social media. We invite you to keep praying for them by using this Celtic ‘Circle Prayer’. You may want to use this to name specific secure Mission Partners you already know of, or to pray for the part of the world in which they live. As you pray this prayer you might like to write the names on a piece of paper and draw circles around them as you pray, or form a circle with stones around names or places on a world map.

Circle …………, Lord. Keep hope within. Keep doubt without.
Circle …………, Lord. Keep protection near. And danger afar.
Circle …………, Lord. Keep love within. Keep hatred out.
Circle …………, Lord. Keep joy within. Keep fear out.
Circle …………, Lord. Keep light near And darkness afar.
Circle …………, Lord. Keep peace within. Keep worry out.
Amen.