Tools for Prayer – Images that Speak of God

by Christine Sine
Candles at the eucharist table

Candles – an effective tool for for prayer

In his book, The Art of Curating Worship which I am currently reading Mark Pierson says:

I believe art is capable  of far more than communicating a message: it is capable of conveying the voice of God and harboring an encounter with God.

Suddenly, it hit me. There is a huge realm of prayer tools that I have alluded to in other posts but not fully explored in this series. Images of all forms be it art, candles, icons, crosses, photographs and videos are but a few of the art forms that speak powerfully of and to our relationship to God. As Mark says they can both convey the voice of God and harbor an encounter with God.

We live in an image rich world. Images that flash through our minds on the internet, TV screen and neon billboards draw us into their values and shape our lives, telling us what to believe and how to live. Yet when it comes to the practice of prayer many of us askew images that can deepen our encounters and enrich our faith. Our prayer spaces are sterile corners that speak little of the wonder and glory of the God we claim to worship. We often engage in prayer as an intellectual exercise rather than a relationship building practice. But prayer is meant to open to us a mystery that cannot be reduced to thoughts and words. And to fully enter into that mystery we need images that speak to our hearts and open our minds to the wonder and glory of God.

So over this next week I plan to explore what I have found to be some of the most effective types of images to use in prayer – icons, crosses, candles and photographs are some that I have found to be powerful tools. The list will probably grow as I work through the week. Even then, I am sure this will only scratch the surface of possibilities so if you would like to help all of us explore this area and want to contribute a post that expresses your own encounters with God through images please let me know.

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