Praying With Play-dough

My heart is heavy, heavy.
Dear, precious people I know and love are bearing impossible pain, impossible loss, and searing unknowns. I ache with them. I pray for them—and with them, but I am finding words sometimes fail.
In my ache I have turned to a small container of play-dough as I pray.
I am not trying to be cute. My ache for these friends is deep and piercing.
Each morning, as I begin working a mound of play-dough in my hands, I choose a friend who needs some focused prayer. I feel it. I squish it. I form it into a heart and hold it in my hands.
My tears fall.
At a loss for words, I imagine God’s hands cradling their hearts, their hopes, their fears, their loss, their anguish.
“Jesus, hold her.”
“Lord, help him face every impossibility. Be his guide.”
“Father, anchor them to hope.”

And as my tears fall, I know that Jesus is cradling my heart, too.
What does Jesus want for you—today? Not from you, but for you.
What does Jesus have for you?
Sometimes Jesus gets stuck in our heads. We mull over new insights or fears—in our heads. We pray silently—in our heads. We think about what we could do for God—in our heads. Jesus wants to get out of our heads and into our lives, our hearts, our hands.
Sometimes play-dough paves the way. 


We are a group of passionate people who gather around the 4-word mission statement, “Run Hard. Rest Well.”

  • It’s a journey into the heart of God. It comes our way through an on-going exploration of four biblical rhythms that revive, replenish and restore: Sabbath Keeping, Sleep (and other simple stress-reducers), Stillness—personal retreat, and Solitude—personal retreat.
  • It’s an expedition that challenges us at every turn. It convicts us in deep, tender places. It alters our priorities and plans. It’s not for the faint of heart.
  • It’s adventure at its best – as we learn to run our race in a power not our own.

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5 thoughts on “Praying With Play-dough”

    • Tom, Alive and Living, Jesus meets us where we are. Praying with Play-dough was His idea and I am so very grateful for it!

  1. Yes! I have play dough. As I read this again and am reminded of a way to hold my friends close….in my hands, as God holds us in His….I am also reminded to play. I think I lost that somewhere. Tomorrow I hope to find it in a little tub. Thank you, Brenda. Love and hugs to you all.


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