1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 says, “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
Heart Sounds International (HSI), a ministry of OM Arts, works with artistic people who create new indigenous worship music. This creativity often transfers into their prayer lives as well.
One such example is Erica Logan, HSI’s Training Coach. During a trip in March to South Asia, she came up with the concept of a tree to symbolize worship and its expression in the art forms of communities around us. Participants filled out root-colored paper with names of God and attached them to a large fabric tree to become the roots of worship. Later, paper leaves were added with prayer requests and hopes for the communities God was calling them to reach. Finally, as participants discovered art forms that were important to these communities, they wrote them on colorful paper hearts representing the unique “heart arts” of each community. The whole group prayed over these requests and hopes to God as the tree filled out as a vision of worship.
This isn’t the first time Erica has used creative means to help people connect with God. At an HSI staff meeting, she had us pray for one another and ask God for a scripture to speak to that person. These scriptures were then written on a cross section of a tree to symbolize the pruning we had recently been through as a team. In the Philippines where the culture does not normally express their feelings, she had the participants verbalize their own stories, take the risk of sharing them with others and then encourage each other. To symbolize the practice of giving safe shelter to one another, she had the participants gather under the shade/protection of the umbrellas as they shared and prayed for each other.
HSI recently saw someone using creativity in their own prayer journal. A team traveled to Tanzania to teach about using indigenous art forms in worship. The team’s intercessor created beautiful pictures as she prayed over the participants as they sought to internalize the teaching.
Sarah* prayed for the birth of songs from encounter and intimacy. She prayed for these songs of encounter with God to cause “many” to give glory to God.
Sarah prayed for participants to begin the journey of taking back what the enemy has stolen… instruments, art forms, etc. John 10:10
There isn’t a formula for praying. All of these examples show that we can approach and talk to God in numerous ways. I encourage you to find new ways to pray. God might give you a picture to pray over people. He might give you a song to sing over them. Our God is a creative God, and we can use our own creativity to deepen our relationship with Him but also to glorify Him.
Written by Beth Sederstrom of Heart Sounds International, a ministry of OM Arts
*Name changed for security reasons