What are Umbrella Prayers?

Many of you have asked about umbrella prayers. Some of you know already and are probably sick of hearing about it by now – ha! I am to honestly. If it poured down rain today I wouldn’t want to see one single umbrella in my sight since that’s all I’ve looked at since January. Just Kidding. Sort of.

Umbrella Prayers is a creative tool in praising God and praying for others (and yourself) that I discovered a few years ago. After doing a study on the Names of God by Kay Arthur I sensed the Holy Spirit giving me a picture of an umbrella with his names, attributes and characteristics written on the panels. Not names or ideas we “think” or “want” God to be – but who God says he is in scripture.

Psalm 63:8 says, “My soul clings to you, your right hand upholds me.”

I want to be a woman who clings to God in both the torrential, downpour kind of a day as well as the sunny, stroll in the park kind of a day. And the Lord knows we have both! Sometimes all in the same day. As I learn about my God in scripture it just makes me want to cling even tighter to Him. And knowing that he holds me with his right hand just makes me love him even more.

So at an Umbrella Prayers event we have lots of hands on activities. We first look to God’s word to see this pattern of remembering who God is by looking at a man in scripture who was flat out depressed and in a complete tailspin in life. He tries a few things to comfort himself and nothing worked. The only thing that brought him resolve was when he remembered who God is and what He had done in the past. And this very strategic act of worshipping God by remembering who God is changed his outlook completely.

So we follow Asaph’s example in Psalm 77 and we recall how God has worked in the past. How we’ve seen him work and be who he is in our lives. We used the resource booklet below to help us see in scripture where God describes himself. This booklet is filled with Attributes and Characteristics of God and verses with each attribute. And then we take a few minutes to brag on our God. We share with each other at our tables which attribute means a lot to us right now or which attribute has been most meaningful in the past.

Then next phase of Umbrella Prayers is where we write out some of those attributes of God on a small umbrella that has been pre-painted on two panels. Our theme verse of Psalm 63:8 is a great verse to include reminding us to cling to who God is. Just picture the covering of our Abba Father over us protecting and loving us through life. Such a tender truth. One of our speakers shared a powerful testimony of God being her Abba Father through the brokenness of her own earthly father’s relationship.

Sharpies, fabric pens and paint pens all work great on the panels. We used acrylic paint for the panels ahead of time.

The final step in Umbrella Prayers is where we make an umbrella prayer together on paper or in our books. Our prayer together was taken from a request that was shared among our group. We prayed for a woman at our event whose husband had a brain injury recently and will be leaving for an extended stay in rehab. We recalled together and wrote in the big part of our umbrella that God is a Healer and Comforter. And up under that umbrella we prayed/wrote out specific requests to pray on behalf of her husband. We covered his nursing staff, his recovery and his family in prayer while remembering and calling on God to be who he is in this man’s life. We didn’t know him but we could bring him up under the Powerful Name of our God and trust him with this sister and brother in Christ. Some people gave their umbrella prayer to the woman attending and she said she was going to take them home and put them up in her husband’s room when they move him to rehab this week. Beautiful picture of the Body of Christ praying together on behalf of someone most of them don’t know.

We closed our time by crafting an Umbrella Prayer personally on behalf of someone else in our lives. Cards were given out to everyone so they could enclose their umbrella prayer and mail to their friend/family member later.

So that in a nutshell is what Umbrella Prayers is about. Anyone of any age can pray. It’s never too early to start and it’s never too late to begin praying. I have found Umbrella Prayers to be a fun, creative yet powerful tool in my prayer life. It has encouraged others as I have mailed some of my umbrella prayers and it has kept me going in my personal prayer life.

This women’s event was such a joy to plan and lead. I was blessed to have a fantastic team of women praying, designing and helping in huge ways. And of course there’s my man who supported this whole vision from not shooting down my idea to hanging umbrella’s from the ceiling to tripping over them in our house to putting together a fantastic resource booklet to moving tables and chairs and working after hours to help pull this thing together.

I will be sharing Umbrella Prayers with a middle school group of girls in May and then again with at a women’s conference in July. I love this so much and it’s such a delight to teach something I’m so passionate about.

 

 

 

Comments

  1. I’ve never heard of Umbrella Prayers, but now I’m interested to learn more and even try it out!

    Seems like a great way to remember the characteristics of God and to pray those characteristics in whatever the situation.

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