Doodling prayer

Like many others, I have been moved this week by the news of the bombing in Boston where two people died and 175 were injured. I was also moved by the news that on the same day bombings in Baghdad killed 31 people and left 200 injured.

Yesterday I decided to ‘doodle’ a prayer as my response to this news.
Here is what I did…

(If you scroll down this post, I have shown how the doodle developed.)

The Christian tradition often uses candles as a symbolic representation of a prayer. The imagery is linked to Jesus as the light of the world shining in the darkness, bringing hope into difficult situations. Other traditions use prayer flags and I don’t know what they mean specifically in those traditions but I like the idea of a flag waving in the breeze as a symbol of God’s spirit blowing into the lives of those who are troubled or need comfort.

So I decided to doodle both candles and flags to represent ‘all the Lord’s people’, as the verse from Ephesians says.

Today I woke up to discover there had been an explosion near Waco at a fertiliser factory, and again bombings, and deaths occur daily amongst our brothers and sisters in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and many other places around the globe.

The colourful nature of this doodle reflects the diversity of humanity. As I drew and decorated my flags and candles, my prayer was, and continues to be, for comfort and consolation for those caught up in these situations and for a global community of peace and love amongst all the Lord’s people. Can you say Amen?


I tend to create backgrounds in my journal when I have time but with no particular idea what I will use them for. Sometimes I use an old teabag dipped in water which works well, but for this one, I soaked the pages with water then dropped blobs of paint around in a random way. On the right hand page I just did random streaks of paint.

I then drew a basic outline of my doodle in pencil. I don’t recommend doing too much rubbing out though as it takes away the background. Even if you’re not completely happy with what you’ve done, just go with it – it’s a doodle and doesn’t have to be a masterpiece.

I then added some more flags to fill the gap at the top, the bible verse I wanted to use, and lightly drew in patterns on the flags. I coloured the flags with felt pens (nothing fancy just basic children’s ones – art doesn’t have to be expensive!). For a contrast I coloured the candles with pencil crayons, picking up the colours of the background and just using random colours on some (be careful not to mix these as you end up with a mucky brown!)

I then outlined everything with a thin fibre tip pen and added some doodle patterns to the candles. I was going to leave it at that but it didn’t look right to me so I picked out some areas of the candles with felt pens but tried to preserve the rainbow nature of the colours below. I also added some little dots around the flames and some pen lines around the flames and flags to give a sense of life and movement.

And here’s the finished piece … a visual prayer.
Hope you feel inspired to have a go yourself – feel free to copy what I did or just do you’re own thing. God hears your prayer either way!



10 thoughts on “Doodling prayer

  1. Kim Gravell says:

    Hi Jane – what a beautiful picture and lovely sentiments. Responding with acts that increase the beauty in the world is the best answer to hatred and violence.
    Love and light.


  2. Tracy says:

    Thank you for your kind words on my blog, Jane. It’s nice to have found you 🙂 What a lovely visual prayer you’ve made. Sometimes I feel so helpless in a world with so much violence and hatred, but then I remember that there are millions of us who are sending up prayers. And even if I was the only one, God still hears. That’s comforting.


  3. samara says:

    Hi Jane: I am Jewish, and your symbolism is just beautiful how you describe it. I’m a Rev. so I get it – your writing is beyond vulnerable and beyond authentic and truthful. Candles are so symbolic of our light NEVER going out – for us too. We will never let the darkness win….NEVER. I live in Toronto, and as you likely heard, Terrorists were caught JUST as they were going to bomb our HUGE via (train) station! It would have killed thousand upon thousand with what the police found they rigged. It is a sick world but it is also G-d’s world – a funky and a cosmic and a tricky at times G-d but still our loving and beautiful and caring and careful G-d who will make sure we are saved, in G-d’s way. I love what you wrote…please always write like this. Wisdom is a beautiful thing. The art is a beautiful thing…the creation is a beautiful thing and G-d’s gift of running all that through your articulation, writing and artistic flare is your gift to us. How lucky are we! Thank you and bless you beautiful one! Lovies and a beautiful day to you. These candles don’t just light up the page, they light up the heart of every person who sees them…candles (in my small mind) go beyond the page and the light surrounds us through them. You are brilliant to have arrived at this art! thank you!!!!!! I feel blessed by you. Samara xox


    • janelydialoves says:

      Thank you so much Samara. I am overwhelmed by your encouraging thoughts and I am so pleased that my art and words are connecting with people of faiths other than my own. If we could all shine our lights in the darkness, with God’s help we could change the world. Keep your light shining. Blessings x


  4. anglophiletoad says:

    We live in Waco, and have friends who were directly affected by the explosion in West. I have been quite heartened by the way in which our community has banded together in the wake of that disaster, and I appreciate your concern. You are right: if the Christian faith could be more about bringing people into the light than barricading them outside of it (be it by way of sexual orientation, religious identity, socioeconomic status–whatever), I’d feel much more inclined to continue identifying myself as a Christian. I wish it didn’t take a disaster to bring us all together as one…


    • janelydialoves says:

      Thanks for your comments. I like your remark ‘if the Christian faith could be more about bringing people into the light than barricading them outside of it ‘. The only way it will be is if those of us who believe it is ultimately about love, stand up and be counted, challenge the bigotry, and keep loving the marginalised. My hope and prayer is that eventually those who profess to be Christians but somehow support and promote injustice and intolerance become a minority. I believe you can only influence change from the inside.


  5. paulineking2013 says:

    Thank you visiting my blog, I love when new people sign up 🙂 I enjoyed this post very much – your doodles are fantastic and your intention is wonderful. While I do not believe as you do, I have a deep commitment to spirituality and believe with all my heart that we are here to learn to love and empathise and have compassion for all of our world. All peoples, all animals, all the earth. Like you I hurt when I hear of acts of violence and outrage and though I can feel hopeless in the face of it I do know that every time we light a candle that light spreads out into the dark places. Evil cannot stand in the light. So keep doodling, keep spreading your word and listening to others too. I love the reply you left above this comment! Much love and power to you!


    • janelydialoves says:

      Thank you for your lovely words Pauline. Although I am obviously coming from a particular faith perspective I really hoped my art and comments would speak to those of other faiths and none.


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