We often hear stories about the gift of prayer and how it changes us, blesses others, and creates places for the Sculptor Spirit to bring about transformation. Here is the story of Nancy Kline and her introduction to Visual Prayer and a bit about her journey. It is a personal story and we thank her for sharing. The real struggle with prayer has been the tale for many of us, if not all of us.
Nancy shares-“I’ve not been one to pray much. I’d want to pray more. I’d even confess to the Lord in church that I should pray more, but I wasn’t. Then I was introduced to Visual Prayer at The Bright Bible Retreat in Mancelona, Michigan last October. I went there not knowing a single woman attending. This was truly a God thing--a step of Faith. My daughter, Liz, had bought me a Journaling Bible for Christmas a year earlier and connected me to a Visual Faith Facebook Group. Her husband, Matt Schuler, is an LCMS Pastor in Oxford, Michigan. My daughter had earlier attended a Visual Faith workshop. I kept looking at the pictures of the Journaling entries on Facebook and wondered if I could ever make anything that creative. So, I did one little entry in the Bible. But, then it sat there empty. Nonetheless, I still kept looking at Visual Faith postings. One day I saw the invitation for a Bible Journaling retreat and noticed it was relatively near me. I contacted the woman in charge, Monica Malbouef. She was so nice to me and I learned she was a teacher, too. I told her I knew NOTHING about Bible Journaling and she said, “Then this is the place for you.” So, next came the prompting from the Holy Spirit. That constant little push and inquisitiveness of the whole idea of the retreat. Next thing I know, I knew I needed to go. It was there I attended the Visual Prayer class with Valerie Matyas. That changed everything for me.”
The path is different for all of us and there are many pathways and Doors into Prayer. Nancy states, “I now do prayer cards. I give prayer cards to people. I do prayers of thanksgiving. This has me even praying spontaneously, without cards. Now I pray as I walk-so I guess I also do prayer walking.”
Nancy’s pastor and wife were leaving on Sabbatical-a time away from ministry that can be used as refreshment, study, or as a learning experience. She shared with the clergy couple that she would like to pray for them in their absence. They came back with Biblical references and specific prayer requests. (Not all are shared here.) What started out as a simple prayer time become a Visual Prayer, incorporating fabric as Nancy “prayed the stitches” and poured out the blessing of prayer.
“There was a lot that happened during this process that I didn’t expect. All good of course. It was a blessing to me.” Here are some of the prayers for the prayer quilt project: