When I was preparing my sermon for last Sunday, I was going to include a piece about this picture by Albrecht Durer – then the trend of my thinking when in another direction and I didn’t use it.
However the story and the picture stayed with me.
Albrecht Durer (1471-1528) was the son of a goldsmith and came from a family of 18 children. His father had to work hard to support such a large family and he wanted Albrecht to follow in his footsteps as a goldsmith. But Albrecht wanted to be an artist and an engraver. He had a highly successful career and was asked to do many religious paintings for churches and religious establishments.
This engraving was never meant to be a piece in its own right but was simply a sketch of hands for a much larger painting. In fact Albrecht did a lot of sketches of hands – he seemed to be fascinated by them. There are several similar sketches. However at some point he developed this drawing and made it into an engraving which he simply entitled ‘Hands’. ‘Hands’ became ‘The Praying Hands’ and is familiar to many people.
There is nothing special about the hands as such, but this picture of praying hands has inspired and encouraged so many people. God can turn the ordinary into the extraordinary.
Prayers contributed by Mark
There always seem so many different options for us to choose, different paths to take, decisions needed to keep us safe and secure. Sometimes these decisions are not obvious and we are left alone to make our choice. This can make us anxious and lead to self-doubt and fear. But God does not abandon us.
Prayer for strength and guidance
Lord, I reach out to you for your guidance.
Please show me which way to turn.
Calm my anxious thoughts, come speak into my mind.
Strengthen me as I falter and feel weary.
May I feel strength rising up within my heart.
Bring clarity into my visions and dreams.
I trust that you are with me, no matter where I go,
Or what I decide to do.
You journey with me always.
Prayer for strength and peace
You are the light that guides my feet.
You are the map that gives me direction.
You are the peace that makes me strong.
You are the leader whom I faithfully follow.
May your light illuminate my life
And your guidance bring direction.
May I find inspiration in your word
And peace in my heart as I follow you.