In this time of advent, of waiting and anticipation for an amazing creation, I see in the world of writers and artists both waiting and creating. We wait for the time, for the words, for the image, for the brushstroke of our creation. Our creating is a powerful act--bringing us closer to God, to ourselves, to the action--the coming of Jesus Christ as a baby--we are waiting for. We are given a direct path to reflecting God's beauty and praising His most prefect creation.
In an "On Faith" column in the Washington Post, artist and teacher Lauren Rader writes, "Sometimes, when I'm painting, I notice that I am in a deep spiritual place. The movement of my strokes are in rhythm with the piece, my body is moving with the painting. My psyche is fully, but quietly engaged. It seems my soul itself has entered a state of bliss. It feels to me like praying. . . . in working with prayer in art, we are freed from what others think, and left with our own deep personal reflection. . . . Art and prayer are entwined, exclusive of any kind of God, but I find it deep and satisfying. . . .When we make art, we become the art we are making--it's kind of a circle--we work on the art and the art works on us."
She expresses so well the collision of ourselves, God, and art. Creating art is spiritual and brings us closer to God--a "higher plane"--but it is also challenging and delayed and destroyed by our brokenness. Perhaps prayer can help lift us.
This advent season, as we are waiting for Christmas and perhaps for our own creation, I want to pray for all artists. I love these prayers for artists...
From The Book of Common Prayer:
17. For Church Musicians and Artists
O God, whom saints and angels delight to worship in
heaven: Be ever present with your servants who seek through
art and music to perfect the praises offered by your people on
earth; and grant to them even now glimpses of your beauty,
and make them worthy at length to behold it unveiled for
evermore; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
From Prayers of Our Heart by Vienna Cobb Andersen
Prayer for ArtistsBless the creators, O God of creation,
who by their gifts make the world
a more joyful and beautiful realm.
Through their labors
they teach us to see more clearly
the truth around us.
In their inspiration
they call forth wonder and awe
in our own living.
In their hope and vision
they remind us
that life is holy.
Bless all who create in your image,
O God of creation.
Pour your Spirit upon them
that their hearts may sing
and their works be fulfilling.
From Venite by Robert Benson
Prayer for Vocation in Daily Work
Deliver us from the service of self alone,that we may do the work You have given us to do,in truth and beauty and for the common good,for the sake of the One who comes among usas One who serves.Amen.
Wishing you and your families a season of holy, wondrous, and inspiring waiting and creating. And feel free to share your favorite prayers for artists below!
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At the moment, the assumption to question is that we humans have a right to be on earth and that it will indefinitely support us. When the very ground is taken from beneath our feet, where can we stand? What is left to us, when the familiar forms of our physical existence are taken away? Nothing, perhaps—yet I wonder.
I would charge that tree at sixty miles per hour, the following curve rated for thirty-five. Headed home after school, in the after-practice gloam, in the dark after work—to turn, or not to turn? That was the question. It was an option. Something to consider. I suspect most of us don’t think of this as a decision, per se, but it is. Every day, we decide, even if for most of us the answer has become reflex.