Visual Prayer

Praying the Stitches with Nancy Kline

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:

Small pieces of fabric serve as a guide to match the fabric piece and that particular day of prayer in the project.

Small pieces of fabric serve as a guide to match the fabric piece and that particular day of prayer in the project.

The prayers are such a beautiful blending of prayer request and the following Visual intercession.

The prayers are such a beautiful blending of prayer request and the following Visual intercession.

Prayer invites us into a holy conversation. A sacred space for listening. How do we train our Spirit to pray? It takes practice.

Prayer invites us into a holy conversation. A sacred space for listening. How do we train our Spirit to pray? It takes practice.

Nancy was in touch with her pastor’s wife and told her a bit of the story. Nancy shared, “As I was praying, I found myself wanting these things for myself, too. So, I asked the Lord for these same things either for myself or for others- my family and friends. My Pastor’s wife was extremely pleased as she had hoped these prayers would extend beyond prayers for themselves and their family.”

Nancy was in touch with her pastor’s wife and told her a bit of the story. Nancy shared, “As I was praying, I found myself wanting these things for myself, too. So, I asked the Lord for these same things either for myself or for others- my family and friends. My Pastor’s wife was extremely pleased as she had hoped these prayers would extend beyond prayers for themselves and their family.”

So what might look just like a simple sewing project became a hands-on tapping into the infinity of the power of prayer. We don’t have to know how all these prayers are answered, fulfilled or connected. Nancy was called to step out in an act of obedience to pray. Sometimes it is really the simple act of praying for others and letting them “see the prayers.” The grace and work of Jesus Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit binds up this offering for the good of His Kingdom.  Nancy sits in awe of this transformation in her own prayer life. She states, ”Just think, in 5 months I went from going to a Bible Journaling retreat to organizing a Bible Journaling workshop at our church. I am also doing journaling in my home with others and creating prayer cards and sharing  those  with others. Now I have a strong desire to teach Visual Prayer. Thank you for the ministry of Visual Faith.”  This is a stand-alone story that is being repeated all over the United States and in over 100 countries that this ministry is connected to at this time. It may be the work of a small band of people, but the economy of God’s provision allows the measure of His power and His Word alone to bring about changed lives “drawn closer” in a divine relationship. And- the changes can be so profound- that we just can’t keep from telling others about what HE has done.

So what might look just like a simple sewing project became a hands-on tapping into the infinity of the power of prayer. We don’t have to know how all these prayers are answered, fulfilled or connected. Nancy was called to step out in an act of obedience to pray. Sometimes it is really the simple act of praying for others and letting them “see the prayers.” The grace and work of Jesus Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit binds up this offering for the good of His Kingdom.

Nancy sits in awe of this transformation in her own prayer life. She states, ”Just think, in 5 months I went from going to a Bible Journaling retreat to organizing a Bible Journaling workshop at our church. I am also doing journaling in my home with others and creating prayer cards and sharing those with others. Now I have a strong desire to teach Visual Prayer. Thank you for the ministry of Visual Faith.”

This is a stand-alone story that is being repeated all over the United States and in over 100 countries that this ministry is connected to at this time. It may be the work of a small band of people, but the economy of God’s provision allows the measure of His power and His Word alone to bring about changed lives “drawn closer” in a divine relationship. And- the changes can be so profound- that we just can’t keep from telling others about what HE has done.

Here is the completed Prayer quilt project. There are many names for prayer projects. Visual Faith coach Belinda Bost coined the term-“Praying the Stitches.” Nancy calls her project- “Praying Through the Stitches.” Either name seems pretty appropriate for this prayer project.

Here is the completed Prayer quilt project. There are many names for prayer projects. Visual Faith coach Belinda Bost coined the term-“Praying the Stitches.” Nancy calls her project- “Praying Through the Stitches.” Either name seems pretty appropriate for this prayer project.

Thanks to Nancy Kline for contacting Visual Faith Ministry and sharing the story of how God has called her and is equipping her for a prayer ministry. Your simple encouragement allows all of us to step out of our comfort zone because the Holy Spirit leads on…   Nancy lives in Elk Rapids, Michigan and is a wife and mom to 2 married daughters. She is blessed with 6 grandchildren. The active and alive faith life of all in her family is something she gives thanks for daily. She has been blessed to grow with a family involved with mission trip experiences. Nancy was a middle school educator and then later a school counselor. She gives thanks for her personal relationship with her Lord and credits this gift to allow her to live with chronic pain for the last 14 years. To God be the Glory.    We also give thanks for Pastor Craig and Kori Trierweiler and their list of Sabbatical Prayers -this was the initiative for this project.

Thanks to Nancy Kline for contacting Visual Faith Ministry and sharing the story of how God has called her and is equipping her for a prayer ministry. Your simple encouragement allows all of us to step out of our comfort zone because the Holy Spirit leads on…

Nancy lives in Elk Rapids, Michigan and is a wife and mom to 2 married daughters. She is blessed with 6 grandchildren. The active and alive faith life of all in her family is something she gives thanks for daily. She has been blessed to grow with a family involved with mission trip experiences. Nancy was a middle school educator and then later a school counselor. She gives thanks for her personal relationship with her Lord and credits this gift to allow her to live with chronic pain for the last 14 years. To God be the Glory.

We also give thanks for Pastor Craig and Kori Trierweiler and their list of Sabbatical Prayers -this was the initiative for this project.

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Scripture Doodles

Sometime a Visual Faith practice is about the obedience of moving in the same direction over a long period of time…. like a month or a year.

This is a Scripture doodle that Connie Denninger formatted to fit a Traveler’s notebook or journal. The calendar is cut into thirds and then added to the pages of a journal. All sorts of possibilities are open for marking the journey.

This is a Scripture doodle that Connie Denninger formatted to fit a Traveler’s notebook or journal. The calendar is cut into thirds and then added to the pages of a journal. All sorts of possibilities are open for marking the journey.

Patricia Maier has also been experimenting with calander pages and tiny billboard reminders of devotional readings.

Patricia Maier has also been experimenting with calander pages and tiny billboard reminders of devotional readings.

Bev Wicher- a Visual Faith Coach team member, also uses a Traveler’s notebook. Sometimes limiting color pencil choices to 4-5 a month allow for a color scheme to convey an over all journey. Images can be used and it can also be one word or a phrase. It is not about the artistry for this practice. It is about the heart meditation.

Bev Wicher- a Visual Faith Coach team member, also uses a Traveler’s notebook. Sometimes limiting color pencil choices to 4-5 a month allow for a color scheme to convey an over all journey. Images can be used and it can also be one word or a phrase. It is not about the artistry for this practice. It is about the heart meditation.

Visual Faith Coach Eden Keefe used a download from Little House studio and matched her thematic color choices to the image on the calendar page. Simple can be very effective.

Visual Faith Coach Eden Keefe used a download from Little House studio and matched her thematic color choices to the image on the calendar page. Simple can be very effective.

Adding in the Scripture references allows a return to the calendar for meditation and to see just where the readings have led Visual Faith Coach- Jamee Thieme. The calendar method can be used with ANY devotional or Scripture reading practice. The calendar is just a tool to chart the journey.

Adding in the Scripture references allows a return to the calendar for meditation and to see just where the readings have led Visual Faith Coach- Jamee Thieme. The calendar method can be used with ANY devotional or Scripture reading practice. The calendar is just a tool to chart the journey.

Here we see how Karen Hunter used the same resource— Portals of Prayer and it ends up in the margin in her Journaling Bible

Here we see how Karen Hunter used the same resource— Portals of Prayer and it ends up in the margin in her Journaling Bible

It is really about the story of a collaborative learning community using faith practices to walk together. They can have multiple applications, and a variety of process adaptations. But, the beauty of these stories? They make everyone an eager conversationalist about what they SEE the Lord is doing in their life. The makes us a witness to talk about His faithfulness as we grown in our discipleship journey.

It is really about the story of a collaborative learning community using faith practices to walk together. They can have multiple applications, and a variety of process adaptations. But, the beauty of these stories? They make everyone an eager conversationalist about what they SEE the Lord is doing in their life. The makes us a witness to talk about His faithfulness as we grown in our discipleship journey.