Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The artistry of simple prayers

The great painter will tell you that he mixes his brains with his colors; and when he takes his brush and dips it into the paint, he lays it on with his soul. In a great picture, such as sometimes we have seen by a Titiens, or a Raphael, it is not the color but the man’s heart that has got out on to the canvas. Somehow he has managed to drop his brush into his soul. That is real painting.

And so it is with prayer. The humblest man that prays to God with his soul understands the fine art of prayer; but the man who chants a pompous liturgy, or repeats an extemporaneous effusion, has not prayed. He has dashed off what he thinks to be a picture, but it is not a picture, it is not a prayer. Had it been a prayer it would have had a palpable inspiration in its light and shade. A painting may consist of few lines, but you will see the painter’s hand in it; and a prayer may consist of only half a dozen words, but you can see the hand of God in it.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "The Chariots of Ammi-Nadib." Image by willgame on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

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