Prayer Is an Art; Art Is Prayer

officePastor's Blog

On Sunday our choir director Wesley McCall will deliver our message on the 150th psalm. This psalm is a celebration of music as praise. In this psalm we are encouraged to utilize every musical instrument at our disposal to offer up praise. Indeed everything that breathes should praise the Lord!

Music, as well as other arts, can be a source of spiritual inspiration. We enjoy the arts in our daily lives, not only because they are entertaining, but because they move us inwardly and help us get in touch with and express our emotions. Art can also bring up spiritual issues and even enable us to better relate to the Divine. This is true of all the arts—performing arts (music, theater, film, dance), visual arts (painting, sculpture, architecture, graphics, design), and literary arts (fiction, nonfiction, poetry, playwriting).

We can utilize the arts as vehicles of prayer. As we avail ourselves to a work of art, we can ask ourselves how this work effects us emotionally and spiritually. We can bring to a work the same questions that we often use in Bible study: what does this piece say about God; what does this piece say about humanity; what does this piece say about the relationship between God and humanity? Pray about whatever insights you may see.

We can also pray through the creation of art. Since we are made in the image of the Creator, we are also creative beings. Creating art puts us in touch with the Creator. It becomes a way for us to communicate with God that can sometimes go deeper than the direct words of ordinary prayer.

You don’t have to be an “artist” to create art. You don’t have to have special training or exceptional talent. There is an artist in each one of us. Try drawing or painting as you pray. Mold a lump of clay with your hands. Take a hymnal and sing your prayer. You can think of a hymnal as being a prayerbook set to music. Write a poem or short story to illuminate your prayer. If you’re really brave, you can dance your prayer! Creating art is in itself prayer. Praise the Lord!