Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Prayers made visible

My Prayer Tree
One thing I've noticed about prayer is that I often promise to pray for the concerns of others, but sometimes I forgot. This wasn't always the case. Sometimes a prayer concern touches my heart and I keep returning to it over and over, but I couldn't find a pattern in my prayer behavior.  I wanted to stop being erratic about my prayers. In the excellent "Unbinding the Gospel" series of books I learned about creating a prayer wall, and I put a simple one together at my church using an old painted board and some post-it notes.

Image from

The wall helped our congregation become more intentional about prayers, but because we turned down the heat when we were not using the building, the post-its sometimes fell. Then I remembered the wishing tree I had seen at a wedding. Guests were invited to attach written wishes to branches of a "tree"  (branches anchored in a pot by stones.)

Wouldn't a prayer tree work just as well? I did some searching and discovered that prayer trees existed. I wanted to adapt the idea for my home, so I secured a branch above a china cabinet.

To carry out my vision I needed to create the prayer cards. I wanted mine to be shaped like things you find in a tree--flowers, leaves and birds. I found clip art shapes and sized it large enough to write prayers.

Next, I created double-sided paper by gluing colorful scrapbook paper back-to-back. 

I tried a variety of methods for gluing the paper back to back. Spray adhesive worked the best by far.

Spray adhesive is found in art stores, craft stores and craft sections of discount stores. Be sure you read the directions before using it. It is very difficult to control the spray and difficult to clean up stray sprays. Spray in a well-ventilated area and protect the surfaces with newspaper or waxed paper.  I usually take the project outside if weather permits.

I like my leaves to have 2 different designs on them but you can match the papers however you like. Working quickly, spray the back of one page of colored paper and then place the back of the other on top of it.

When you are finished trace and cut your desired shapes from it. I then punch a hole and add a yarn or ribbon tie.
The completed leaf is ready for a prayer.

While I enjoy the free-form look of the prayer tree, the shapes could also be fashioned into a garland or tied to a wreath.

Feel free to send prayer requests my way...

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