Praying with Tics


Praying with Tourettes is hard.

And I don’t mean the little prayers that one sends up throughout the day. Asking God for this or that or praising Him for the surprise flowers that sprouted up by my porch isn’t so much the difficulty. Having a long conversation with God, however, is difficult for me.

I’ve talked about it before, but my hands are rarely still. Because of my tics and the extra energy that often seems to come with TS, keeping my hand still is a bit like trying to keep my toddler still. Instead of praying, my mind is constantly wandering back to my body and all the tics and motions it wants to do. It’s like having someone poke you every few seconds while you’re trying to concentrate. You may stay in the position, but your mind is drawn to whatever part of the body was just poked.

Therefore, I’m going to try something new.

I’ve found that while sitting still in church is hard for me, doodling and coloring helps me to focus on the sermon. I’ve discussed before how arts and crafts can help lower anxiety, and this is great, as many tics that happen are due to anxiety. But coloring can also help listening skills.

Jesse Prinz, a professor at the City University of New York Graduate Center, studies doodling, and says that doodling is the beneficial for oral learning, according to the Huffington Post’s article, “5 Benefits of Being a Doodler,”

“Doodling helps hit that sweet spot between listening too much and listening too little,”

So we know coloring can help with listening, which should help me tackle my church sermon problem. I’m also going to see if coloring can help me talk to God without so many mental interruptions. Though I’m not at all an advocate of a “vending machine” god, where you put prayers in and get blessings out without a true relationship with God, I believe that Jesus says what He means in Matthew 7:7-11

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? 11 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!”

I have asked God that He draw me closer to Him, and in that, that He help me to pray. God says in His word that Philippians 1:6,

 nd I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion atthe day of Jesus Christ.”

Talking to God is part of being His child and part of growing closer and becoming more like Him. I firmly believe that God, being the good Father He is, will give me what I need to grow in Christ. And while I can’t know until I try, I’m hoping that coloring just might be part of that answer. He’ll answer my prayer one way or another. Perhaps this will be part of that answer.

So I’m going to try it. Instead of the traditional post of kneeling or closing one’s eyes while praying, I’m going to try coloring. My new coloring book (the one pictured above) and gel pens *SQUEALINGWITHJOY* arrive on Monday. I’ll keep you updated on whether this experiment is successful or not.

Do you struggle to pray? Do you use coloring to help you focus? I’d love to hear what your thoughts are! Just comment in the box below. Also, if you’re interested in getting updates on posts, as well as a free resource guide,subscribe for free to my email list! As always, thanks for reading!

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