• Kaisa

Felt-Needle Bird & Imaginative Prayer



I enjoy using my imagination, body, arts and creativity in my life of prayer. Below I will show you how I combine imaginative reading of the Scripture, arts and prayer.

You can join me in this prayer exercise alone or with others. Children and young people will enjoy it too.


Keep reading or watch the prayer guide video that I made for you! :)




You will need:

  1. The Bible (if you use a picture Bible, make sure it has Matthew 6:25-26 in it)

  2. Craft materials to make a bird and its nest. If you make a needle-felted bird you will need: wool, felting needle and a sponge. You can also use paper and paints, fabric, papier-mâché or what ever medium you like to make the bird. Card egg holder makes easy small nests that you can decorate with markers or paint. You can weave a nest from paper or make a soft nest with needle-felting technique or crochet a nest. Again, there are plenty of options!

  3. And of course you will need a comfortable quiet place where you won't be disturbed :)





Contemplative prayer practice step by step:


Start by getting comfortable and still. Take a few deep breaths in and out. Remind yourself that you are in the presence of a loving God.


Use your imagination to picture a bird in your mind and think about what a life of a bird is like. Now, read these words of Jesus, that he speaks to his friends.


Matthew 6: 25-26

“Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?


Imagine yourself as a bird. What kind of bird would you be?

Where would you fly and what would you see?

Would you go and fly to the top of a mountain and admire the beautiful landscape or fly over a busy market, and watch all the people and beautiful colors of the market flowers, and fruit?

How do you feel? How does the air feel that goes through your feathers?


God has made so much beauty for us to enjoy. Imagine flying to a forest and picking some juicy berries with your beak. Imagine God looking at you, this little bird, and see how he is smiling as you freely fly around, and enjoy his creation.


Let’s make the bird that you just imagined and a little nest home for it.


I am going to make one with needle-felting technique but you can sew one, make it with papier-mâché or simply draw or paint one on a a thick card and cut it out.


Enjoy the slow, contemplative work of making a bird. While you are carefully forming your bird, imagine God being with you and looking at you. What does he feel toward you? Enjoy making this bird together with your Creator. Now make the nest in the chosen medium that you like.


When you are done, hold your little bird in your hands and look at it. What do you see, feel or think when you look at it?

Imagine God looking at the bird with you? What do you think he feels and sees?


Place your bird gently into its nest.


Read/listen to the words of Jesus again.


“Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?


Is there a word or phrase that surprises you, catches your attention, makes you curious, or that you particularly like? Let your imagination stay with that word or phrase for a while.


Listen to God, what might he be saying to you?


Remember, God’s voice often sounds just like your own voice, because he speaks to us in our own spirit deep inside of us. His voice is always gentle, loving, kind and generous.


Keep listening and keeping company with God as long as you want.


You can put your prayer beads in the bird's nest and let it hold the beads for you when you are not praying with them, or attach your bird to your prayer bead necklace.

Maybe your bird with its nest will find a place next to your bed, or in your special prayer place.

Contact

Kaisa Stenberg-Lee

Denver, CO

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*I am a member of ESDA (Evangelical

 Spiritual Director's Association).