Praying with Mandalas serves as a guide toward a more heartfelt and tangible experience of prayer. We can use the 40 prayer mandalas included in this book in whatever way feels most meaningful. They can be used as a four-week study (perhaps during Advent), as a forty-day devotional (perhaps during Lent), or at any other schedule or pace. The book focuses on four prayer styles: lectio divina (savoring the words of scripture), intercessory prayer (remembering the needs of others), Centering Prayer (listening deeply for the still small voice of God), and the Ignatian Examen (seeing God in daily living). There are 10 blank mandalas in each section (40 mandalas total). Each chapter includes inspirational stories, words of explanation, tips for getting started, 10 blank mandalas for coloring, questions for reflection, and a prayer of dedication.
All are invited to this practice of contemplative coloring—men, women, laity, clergy, thinkers, feelers, intellectuals, artists, the young, the old, and everyone in between. Praying with Mandalas can be used by individuals or as part of a small group. Either way, we will create a beautiful prayer journal that will provide a meaningful way to reflect on our spiritual journey for years to come. There are many ways that these prayer mandalas have already been used in diverse settings, including the following: prison ministries, hospitals (by patients as well as spiritual care volunteers), nursing homes, intergenerational events, Advent study groups, women’s groups, clergy renewal retreats, spiritual direction meetings, campus ministries, homes, international prayer exchanges, and prayer card ministries. People of faith are hungry for tangible ways to pray that unite their hands, head, and heart.
What is Contemplative Coloring?
Coloring books aren’t just for kids anymore. In recent years adult coloring books have become popular. Contemplative coloring offers a practical way to set aside the worries and distractions of daily life so that we can sit at the feet of Jesus. It can bring us much needed rest or inspire us to act. It provides an opportunity to look inward so that we may discern how to be the hands and feet of Jesus to a hurting world. Whatever we create in an attitude of prayer will be a divinely inspired piece of sacred art. Let’s color outside of the lines, scribble, doodle, match colors, or clash colors. There is no right or wrong way to pray with mandalas.