Write Your Prayers in the Sand

Your life may not be a day at the beach but with a little thought and creativity, your prayers can be. 

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Posted in , Jun 8, 2016

Use sand to express your prayers.

My wife is a professional therapist who works with all ages and all kinds of people who need various types of counseling. One of the tools she uses is called “sand tray therapy.” 

She has in her office a wooden tray a little bigger than a cafeteria tray, but several inches deep. It is filled about two-thirds full with clean, white sand. She also has a shelf nearby containing various small toys, figurines and symbols. The figurines can be placed within the sand tray to create an imaginary world, and the sand can be formed into a hill or channeled to represent a river or road. 

You might think this technique would be used solely with children; you would be wrong. It facilitates thought and expression for people of all ages. It particularly helps people when words are difficult (such as someone who is suffering through grief or trying to process some kind of trauma).

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The texture and responsiveness of the sand can be soothing. Some people find it easier to think and talk while letting the sand run through their fingers, combing the sand with a tiny rake, or drawing and writing in the surface of the sand.

The sand tray often reminds me of the account in John’s Gospel, when people brought the woman caught in adultery to Jesus. While they made a spectacle of her and shouted demands at Jesus, He “bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger” (John 8:6, NIV).  

When they continued to insist on an answer, Jesus said, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her” (John 8:7, NIV). And then He continued writing on the ground.

Many people have wondered what it was He wrote. Was it the sins of her accusers? Was it one of the commandments? Could it even have been a prayer?

We don’t know, of course. Either the person who wrote the account didn’t know or didn’t think it was an important detail. It may have been simply a way for Jesus to channel His thoughts and emotions at that moment.

So why not try something like that yourself? Whether you make your own sand tray or simply take advantage of a visit to the beach, try using sand to help you express the desires of your heart to God.

Read More: Remember God's Promises

You may want to write your prayers in the sand, or names of people as you pray for them. You may stand up photos or figurines of the people and things you’re praying for in the sand. Or comb the surface of the sand while singing or praying aloud. Or let sand run through your fingers as you confess sins or let go of past events. Or something else.

Your life may not be a day at the beach but with a little thought and creativity, your prayers can be. 

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