There are many forms of prayer. There is prayer that uses words: liturgical prayer, intercessory prayer, prayers of praise and adoration. There is spontaneous prayer, that springs to our hearts and lips when we are deeply moved, or when we feel overwhelmed. Ann Lamott, the American writer, refers to “the three essential prayers: Help! Thanks! Wow!”
There are also prayers that don’t use words: Contemplative walking in nature, where we can be mindful of God’s presence. Meditation practices, that help us to be still and to hear God’s voice, which is usually drowned out by our busy, chattering minds. And creativity can also be a form of prayer. God’s creative impulse formed our universe and everything we know. As we are made in the image of God, this ability to create can flow through our own artistic or artisanal endeavours.
Do you enjoy singing or making music? Do you enjoy painting or sketching or doing fabric art? Do you like to tell stories or write poems or novels or even sermons? Do you enjoy performing on stage or dancing to the radio in your kitchen? As the spiritual author Margaret Silf says, “images, drama, and music touch layers of our being that lie deeper than rational thought. They expose us to the heart of God in special ways”. Such artistic creative acts bring us closer to God, and are thus a form of prayer.
But you don’t have to be a talented poet or artist or singer to be creative. Any activity that enables you to make something new, to bring something beautiful into the world, can be seen as creative. You can create a garden, a delicious meal, a piece of woodworking, sew or knit a garment—these are all ways of enabling your innate ability to allow the deeper movements of the Spirit within you to find expression. If you dedicate this work to God, and if you are open to the Spirit inspiring you as you work out the creative impulse, you are meeting God in prayer.
The theme of our Synod is “Behold I am doing a new thing”. The Spiritual Development Committee is designating the Friday before Synod, May 14, as a Day of Sacred Creation. Celebrate the new work being done at the Synod by creating something in the name of the Spirit! We encourage everyone to be creative and to make something: whether it’s a picture or a poem or a piece of pottery, to sing a song or bake a loaf of bread, to bake some cookies and share them with a neighbour– whatever moves you. Take a photo or video of your creation if you wish to share with the diocese, and send it to Karen Archibald at [email protected] by 6 pm on May 14. She will make them into a video to be shown during Synod.
Let your inner creativity shine through, and glorify God!