Prayer! What a funny thing prayer is. I mean I guess I was always taught that it was a really simple thing… Just find a place where you can get on your knees and talk to God. Just talk to God and tell him what you need and tell him “thank you” for what you have, if you have a problem you should go to Him and talk to him. He is always listening…
Why then “praying” sometimes so “un-simple”? I mean I don’t buy all of that stuff I have been told through out the years. I don’t feel like we have the whole “prayer” thing all thought out. I go to my church and see them “praying“. A lot of people might say that we have some “world class” prayer people. I mean sometimes they just shout to God telling Him what their friend’s needs are and ask Him (extremely formally) to grant their wish. I also see those guys who pray all the time, I mean they like verbally talk to God all the time and go to special rooms to do so. I am not saying all these things are bad but I just have been struggling with it recently, just thinking that there is some more to this whole picture of “prayer”.
A few weeks ago I was talking to a friend about a drawing I have been working on. A drawing that is made up of about a hundred portraits emphasizing all the poverty we have in the world. I was explaining to my friend that I wanted to confront Those who saw the drawing with the need for help. I was doing this by drawing portrait after portrait of people who were suffering. Weather it was a portrait of someone who doesn’t have a home or a person who was visually starving to death I wanted it to hit the audience. I commented to my friend on how hard it was for me sometimes, to draw all these people who were suffering. I told my friend that I could really feel for them and could only work on the drawing for a certain amount of time before I started feeling depressed. Well my friend told me that maybe I should pray for the guys while I draw them.
I don’t know if I had a hard time with what he said or not but I did think about that comment for a long while after he said it. To tell you the truth, being told to pray is a pretty typical answer to one‘s problem. I get into a jam and have some problems and most of my friends think the best thing to do is pray. Now I don’t quite disagree with my friends all the time when they tell me to pray but I do think my friends don’t understand something. Most all my friends and I have grown up thinking that the way you pray is verbally and a picture (as good as it might be) is most certainly not a prayer.
However I realized that I was in fact praying. When I drew those portraits I was praying to God. I didn’t start that drawing project so I could be looked at as a “Great Artist”. I for sure did not do it for the money. I wanted to show these suffering people to others, including God. I was praying for each one of the people I drew by drawing them alone. I knew I could not do anything about the problem with just me but I knew the gift my Father gave -my art was my own special prayer.
Just as a typical prayer is spoken out loud so others can hear what the person has said, my drawing was available so others could see what I was praying. I knew even when I started the drawing that it took God to do something about it. This has given me a great lesson not easily forgotten. Prayer can be more then words. Heck you don’t even need to talk. Think outside the box Prayer is communication with God. It comes in all sorts of shapes and sizes- visually, verbally even musically. As soon as it becomes repetitious words without meaning its value is diminished. The value behind the words and the art is what counts. How great is our God to whom gives us so many different ways to fellowship with Him?!