Posted in #whywepray, Lenten meditations

Why We Pray: Seeing

Confession: “I can’t do it all!” I hear my heart cry and as I experience this thought, I grow more and more burdened by my constant feeling of aimlessness.

Shouldn’t I know, after all these years of devotion, which path to take?  I am constantly searching for the best way forward. It seems every year I am presented with a myriad of problems and choices to make and I am left feeling weary as I search for answers.

Has God grown tired of my questioning and restless seeking?

Why We Pray: Seeing

This week as I was reflecting on the different reasons for prayer, I was reminded by Pieter Bruegel’s painting of the Blind leading the Blind, that we pray for guidance so we might see the best way forward. We pray to ask for God’s blessing and then to show us the next step on our spiritual journey.

The Parable of the Blind Leading the Blind, 1568, Pieter Bruegel the Elder, National Museum of Capodimonte, Naples, Image Source Web Gallery

The Painting: Things to notice here:

  • It is marvelous, if you zoom in, to notice how each person portrayed here has a different kind of blindness. One man has cataracts, another has his eyes shut, still another has no eyes at all. This suggests that there are all kinds of spiritual blindness in the world.
  • The dramatic angle in this painting gives us the feeling of motion and we can experience the full range of falling as we notice each man individually. The man in the front is completely down while the man in the back is still peacefully walking forward.
  • Jesus speaks of the blind leading the blind in a confrontation with the Pharisees as he endeavors to redirect their focus. Seeing the church perfectly framed into the background of this painting, art historians believe Pieter Bruegel might be making a similar comment on the religious controversies of his time. Living during the tension of the newly formed Protestant Reformation movement, he witnessed the religious establishment persecuting and even executing those who believed and practiced their faith differently.

Our World:

Viewing this painting and reflecting on scripture does give one pause to consider, “Who am I following?” and even more “Who might I be leading?”  Moving forward, choosing how we spend our time and resources,  requires the confidence of our Lord and so we pray to seek his guidance. If we pour out our hearts in fervent prayer, God will answer us! He will show us which way to go and we will become more sure footed as our eyes are opened to His kingdom.

Scripture: 

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all the things will be given to you as well. ~ Matthew 15:14

O Lord, I call to you; come quickly to me. Hear my voice when I call to you. May my prayer be set before you like incense; may the lifting up of my hands be like the evening sacrifice. ~ Psalm 141: 1-2

Wisdom:

Prayer allows us to prioritize the kingdom and the will of God, not our own desires. Prayer is meant to change our list of desires so that we instead seek God’s kingdom and the things He wants rather than the comforts and riches of this world.  ~ Dream with Me, John M. Perkins p. 177

Dear Lord,

Thank you for the great privilege and blessing of coming before your throne. Help us to regain our awe at your grace and desire to give us your attention and participate in our lives. Forgive us when we forget to seek your guidance in all we do. Open our eyes to notice who we are following by allowing them to influence our heart. Cast out our fears and insecurities and give us the wisdom to hear your “still small voice” above all the noise of the world.

The Music: It was interesting this week as I was meditating on blindness that my husband, who is a violinist , shared this video with me. Remarkable as this blind man has found a way to play the violin that is totally backwards from the way it should be played. Amazing the amount of music he is producing with his unconventional style. I found it inspiring and fitting for this post. I hope you enjoy:))

I would love to hear your thoughts on prayer, blindness, the painting, scriptures or this charming video. Have I opened your eyes and heart in some way?


Author:

I am a Christian Author, Arts Teacher, Public Speaker and Musician. God thru the Arts is a ministry that works to share the power of arts to the greater Christian community. You can find my blog @ jrundlett.wordpress.com. My books, "My Dancing Day: Reflections of the Incarnation in Art and Music" and "The Joyful Sound, Reflections on the Life of Christ in Art and Music" can be found @ My Createspace estore: https://www.createspace.com/4318541

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