Praying with Images

We all have favourite pictures, and most of us have favourite buildings.

We see pattern, and light, colour and contrast. Over the centuries so many artists have been drawn to paint or sculpt or make images using the Christian tradition and story as their basis.

Our churches have images in the windows, and items of beauty and significance. Even their architecture is designed to help us worship – there is a focus on the altar or Communion Table where we share bread and wine; there is a focus on the lectern and pulpit from where Scripture is read and we hear God’s word. Our eyes are often drawn up to the high ceiling inside, and outside to the tower or spire, traditionally pointing us to God above. A church should stand in its community and for its community, not separate.

In a world where most things are utilitarian, we are learning again how important it is to have things of beauty and things of significance. A church should point to the sacred, and to the presence and majesty and love of God.

This week choose a picture or image that you find striking or spiritually significant and spend some time reflecting on it; find a different picture each day. Families could let each member choose something that they feel will help us in our faith and our praying, it might be something familiar or it may be a classic work of art or building.

It might be a kneeling desk to remind us to pray, or an organ to remind us of our music. It might be an intricate pattern in nature, or a picture of the majesty of creation.

Why not make it your background for the day, on your phone or ipad or computer.

He gave us eyes to see them

and lips that we might tell

how great is God Almighty

who has made all things well

We can also pray with our eyes open as we look at the ordinary things in life, as we look at what we have in our cupboards we can thank God for his goodness to us. As we look at family photos we can pray for the people, as we walk we can pray for the people, businesses, schools etc; as we sit and look up, we can rest in God our Creator and Redeemer.