Can prayer be visual?

I love Sundays. But they are no longer days of rest. Thanks to the success of Writing Down Your Soul, I’m often booked as a guest speaker or workshop leader at a New Thought church somewhere in the country. Sunday, I’ve been rather surprised to discover, is a work day.

So when I wake on a Sunday knowing I don’t have to be anywhere, I am one happy girl. I make my glorious French Press coffee and curl up in my reading chair with the New York Times. I can — and do — sit there for hours.

Well, three weeks ago, I had the opportunity to have one of those slow, lazy Sundays. But Rev Greg Barrette was speaking at First Unity in St Petersburg on soul development. I felt I needed to be there. But OH! the chair was calling and the coffee so good. But you know — and you know that you know — when you really must heed your guidance. And my guidance was quite clear and quite persistent that I better get in the car. So an hour later, I walked into Greg’s workshop. And I am so grateful, so very grateful.

In the course of his talk, Greg mentioned the term “visual prayer.” I stopped taking notes and stared at him. My gut told me that those two words mattered. Visual prayer. What a glorious idea. A thing, a drawing, a something that is a prayer. I am madly in love with words, but this idea of a picture of prayer, this really called to me.

A couple sentences later, I realized that Greg was talking about a vision board, something I’ve done for the last few years. But this year, I just did not feel the urge to make one. I didn’t know why, because I know they are powerful, but I just didn’t want those cut-out pictures in my office. Not this year. So here it is September, and I still have no visual image for my goals and dreams for this year.

I loved the workshop and I loved meeting Greg. As I drove home, the traffic came to a halt on Curlew Road in Palm Harbor. A traffic jam on a summer Sunday afternoon is a rare and strange thing in my neck of the woods. But I decided not to stress about it. When I was teaching my son to drive and we ran into a traffic jam, I’d tell him to relax. Consider the possibility, I’d say, that you are being protected and just sit patiently.

My own words came back to me. If it were true for him, it must be true for me. There’s a reason I’m not moving. What is it? I looked around. Slowly. Consciously. Fully. And there to my right was a house with an unusual address placque. The address numerals were surrounded by a large metal circle with 8 metal lines outside the circle. The instant my eyes fell on it, I knew, THIS was the perfect symbol for my visual prayer. I came home and wrote about it and drew a few samples. But I felt something was missing.

Today, a facebook friend, Wendi Brown, posted a link to this gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous video of a sacred geometry mandala created by Charles Gilchrist.

Have you ever wondered what the term “sacred geometry” meant? How about “visual prayer?” THIS is visual prayer. I’ve watched it five times and I’ll watch it five more. Then, I’m going to make my own mandala, my own visual prayer. I’m so in love with this idea of Visual Prayer. When I finish it, I’ll post it. But for now, what I’d love to know, is what kind of Visual Prayer do you “say?”

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3 Comments on “Can prayer be visual?”

  1. Bridgitt Chaffin says:

    Wow, that is fascinating. I wonder if I was supposed to feel vibration in the back of my head because I did!

    Janet, what is a good description of what a vision board would look like? I have heard people talk about them, but I never know quite what to picture when they do.

  2. kay carlson says:

    Hi Janet,
    One of the powers of this video comes from crossing from the left to the right and back again…both in the eye and in the body (ex. tai chi)
    When the eyes follow a brush stroke and colors changing, the entire body “sees”. We do not only take in a painting only with our eyes for instance. This is a reason we hang a painting eye level not way above or below us…Very coool! Glad you are going down this track….love, the painter Kay.

    • Janet Conner says:

      Kay: Thanks for the painter’s perspective. This whole right-left thing is so interesting. That’s the foundation under EMDR (the eye movement process) and the cross crawl, I think. The human body and spirit is endlessly interesting isn’t it.


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