A Simple Labyrinth for personal Prayer Journeys
To complete, for now, my labyrinth themes!
At Journey Light we recently produced a prayer aid in the form of a very simple, prayer path. Made from air dried clay. This in some ways is similar to an “organic” labyrinth.
I found this a very helpful activity and object as so here are the “instructions” and some thoughts on use of the prayer pathway. You may like to create your own pathway.
You do not need to use clay, a piece of paper could equally be used to draw the pathway and decorate it as simply or elaborately as you like. On this occasion we used clay and it creates a more tactile, three dimensional and longer lasting object, so these instructions are for that medium.
As I have said before in other articles I am sadly not an artist. It turns out that neither am I a skilled “claysmith” but this is the shape I formed and hopefully it will give the idea.
Things you will need
- Some air drying clay – about the size of a large fist worked for me but a smaller or larger amount would also work. You do need a reasonable thickness in the finished pathway to ensure it does not crack too much when it is drying.
- A rolling pin can help in forming the first disc.
- A small knife or scraper to inscribe on the clay
- Some acrylic paint for decoration of the pathway
- Your hands and creative imagination!
“How to” – Instructions
The general idea is to produce a saucer size disc of clay shaped into a slight mound or flat if you prefer.
Then trace a random path into the clay either flowing curves or more regular paths as you feel will be most helpful.
Leave an appropriate margin around the rim, or around the path to allow the incision of a short phrase or some words which will help when the prayer pathway is being used.
My words were “Love holds me in the presence of my loving God”.
Leave the clay to dry a suitable length of time and then decorate as you would like.
I have used a red colour to highlight the path and a bronze for the remainder of the “sculpture”.
You could use a single colour or a variety as your creativity dictates.
Once the paint is dry the pathway is ready for use. If you are going to use it a lot it may be worth thinking about varnishing the finished pathway to extend its useful life but this is not necessary. If needed the paint could be “topped up” if it wears away with use.
Some suggestions for use of the Prayer Path.
How you use the finished prayer path is, of course, up to you. I add some thoughts of my own to set your imagination running.
Having created my own pathway I was struck by the fact that sometimes the path is narrow, sometimes shallow and at one stage comes very close to the edge of the disc.
As such it represents, to me, the way that our relationships with people and God sometimes pass through those difficult times. Sometimes the way is clear and feels secure other times the way feels less sure and has uncertain footing.
The obvious use of the pathway is to trace the path with your finger as you pray.
The repetitive motion of our finger as it traces the path helps us to concentrate on a short prayer for each person or situation we are praying for. We can happily trace our fingers slower or faster as suits our prayers. Pausing at the ends or at stages on the pathway to allow time for reflection.
You could use the pathway as you read the 23rd Psalm – remembering that God leads us on the pathways of our lives as we read the words.
You could use the Circuit or Methodist prayer manual to supplement your own prayers.
This work by Christopher Hancock is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.