Art Journaling 101–Prayers on Paper

Mixed collage of watercolor pieces, glitter/glue mixture and old journal pages glued on a magazine photo. I call it ‘Heart in the Weeds’

Discovering the Holy Spirit’s Work through Art Journaling.

Art journaling is a way to listen to the Holy Spirit and create something with words, materials and pictures to respond and capture what God is whispering to your heart.

How do you “pray on paper?” What IS prayer, anyway?

  • It is a place of listening, being tuned into God at all times
  • When we walk with Jesus, all of life is a prayer

Spending time in prayer is often about deciding what is important (what to keep) and what is not important (what to let go of). It is also a time of listening. We often don’t know the answer to something until we have space to hear.

  • Paul says to pray without ceasing…How?
  • We learn to recognize God’s voice, His presence, throughout the day. Eugene Peterson uses the phrase about our “Walking around life.” But sometimes we don’t know what God is saying until we see (i.e. ‘hear’ the words.)
  • Using materials–visuals, stamps, cut out photos from magazines, words or phrases, individual letters from various print, God speaks to us and the ‘aha’s come.
  •  Move things around on the page, layer things, glue them in place, stamp out a phrase, add glitter glue. The creativity will come.
  • Ask God to uncover what’s in your heart. What’s on your mind? Who are you praying for? As you move things around, cut out (or tear) pictures and words, answers will come to the surface. It might just be a time of uncovering what’s in your heart and voila!


  • A blank journal, at least 8 x 5 ish in size
  • Old magazines and books. Maps, menus, calendars, church bulletins, junk mail–all are a good source for print and pictures.
  • Scissors, glue sticks
  • Glitter glue
  • Rubber letter stamps and ink pad
  • Stencils
  • any other ‘arty’ material you can think ofP_20190408_164156


Much like the illustrations on this page, I didn’t know what God was speaking to me until after the work was done. When I finished the watercolor, cut paper and glitter collage at the top of this page, God spoke the phrase ‘heart in the weeds.’ I thought of how my heart is hidden in Christ, even in the middle of a weedy world. And that’s how our (sometimes unspoken) prayers show up on paper.

It’s as simple as that.

P.S. Everything I know about praying on paper/art journaling came from Christine Hiester, Spiritual Director and Workshop leader.

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