Praying Hands

Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. (John 15:13)

We continue our PRAYER-O-RAMA 2021 festivities with a little story about the painting to the right …

Two struggling art students, Albrecht Dürer and Franz Knigstein, were having trouble making ends meet. Albrecht came up with a plan: he would work to support Franz’s studies and then when Franz had sold enough art to support both of them, Albrecht would quit working and go back to school. Franz liked the idea but insisted on being the first to work.

Albrecht became a highly skilled painter and engraver. When his art began to generate enough money to support the two of them, he returned to keep his part of the bargain.

But things didn’t work out according to plan. Albrecht was shocked and saddened to see that Franz’s labors had left his hands too stiff and gnarled to hold a brush. Franz’s career as an artist was over before it had started.

But that’s not the end of the story. Franz refused to be bitter. One day, Albrecht returned home to find him kneeling by his bed, his hands uplifted in prayer, asking God for continued blessings on Albrecht’s artistic endeavors.

Deeply struck by his friend’s unselfish acts of love, Albrecht sat right down and sketched what would become by far his most famous work — the “Praying Hands.” It’s a work that has inspired millions in the centuries since its creation.

May we all lift our hands in prayer today and ask God to fill our hearts to overflowing with his self-sacrificial love.

This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. (1 John 3:16)

(Image credit: Public Domain)


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