When beginning this painting, I noticed all the times in the New Testament that Jesus took himself apart to pray. Even the Son of God needed time alone to commune with the Father, even such that he would rise “up a great while before day” (Mark 1:35) or even after a long day of hearing some terrible news, and healing the sick, and feeding 5,000 he went up alone into a mountain to pray (Matthew 14:13-23). It’s obvious that Christ needed the strength from prayer, because many times after prayer he would go on to do something truly miraculous like raise Lazarus from the dead (John 11:42-43), walk on water (Matthew 14:25), or save mankind (John 17, Luke 23:34-46). I think if Christ needed that connection with the Father, that strength offered through prayer, how much more then do we?
When designing this composition, I liked how the hands coming together became a symbol, two becoming one, and how this mirrored the desire for our wills to come in line with the Father’s will through prayer. During the great intercessory prayer, Jesus prayed for us, saying, “Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are” (John 17:11). I love that Christ offers us all the same relationship that He has with the Father. As these hands come together, nothing between them, so God waits for us to come to Him. However, in order to do so, we have to get our grudges, our grief, our sins, our addictions, our pride out of the way first. And it is Christ who takes down those walls:
“For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;” (Ephesians 2:14)
Jesus not only set the pattern of prayer, He made prayer possible for us. The atonement of Jesus Christ offers us the grace that we, though imperfect and broken, can still approach the throne of God and find healing, find peace, and find home.
18″ x 24″ oil on linen panel