My prayer life has been changing.
I find myself sitting with written prayers, often from the Scriptures. And I am inspired to know that Jesus, whom I follow, prayed the prayers of the Psalms. This was his prayer book.
And often, when I am inspired by what I read, and what I pray, I want to put that on to paper. It is my form of devotion, of sitting with words, and having them sink into me.
This past week the words that inspired me were from Psalm 143.
The first step is to write the words, so that is what I did. And I thought… How do I lift up my prayer? And the image of hands lifted up came to me. So I drew the hands.
And then I wanted to emphasize the hands… so I started doodling…
And in the process, I thought with amusement… these look like tattooed arms!!
Now, I am well aware that this might amuse some of you. Some of you might not be so amused. Some whom I love, love their tattoos. And if you take the time to hear the stories, the art they portray usually tells a story that is meaningful.
I do prefer to draw on paper though… not on skin. I once threatened to get a tattoo to amuse my children, but they knew I couldn’t go through with it…
But the more I thought about the tattoos, I was impressed how our prayers and the holy words and instructions from God need to be on our skin, on our hearts. They need to sink into us…
The words of the prophet Jeremiah say: “I will put my law (or my instructions) in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.” (Jeremiah 31:33 NIV)
And if you are really into writing it on your skin… hear this!!
“These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. (Some versions say written on your hearts). Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.” (Deuteronomy 6:6-8 NIV)
If I’m hearing this right, we might as well just write it on our foreheads! I realize this is likely symbolic, but the word picture is very meaningful to me. Do the words I believe, the thoughts I think, the prayers I pray, radiate from me?
The other word I kept hearing was “heart”. Written on our hearts. So as I worked on my art piece, I drew a heart. It seemed appropriate.
So the art became the prayer. Hear my prayer O Lord. Teach me the way I should go. Let your words be written on my heart, that I may know your love, and share your love with others.