An Artist's Prayer
The Lord’s Prayer Meditations for Artists
“OUR FATHER” of an artist
by Beat Rink
"Thank you, that I may say our father,
not only my father.
I belong to your congregation, and therefore I am not a lonely artist.
Let me think of other Christians as better than myself,
even when they don't understand me, or worse: when they admire me.
I want to be part of them, regardless of my imperfections -
I want to be part of your imperfect but loved people.
Thank you for all the other artists that know you:
Bless my sisters and brothers today
in the cultural world."
FATHER IN HEAVEN
"No, I don't have to be an autonomous artist,
or an outstanding genius.
Because you are higher than I am.
I am your creature. I am your child.
Everything that I have and all that I can do is a gift from you.
When I am in danger of becoming proud of my artistic uniqueness:
Please say to me:
"I have created you uniquely but at the same time you are my child
and my image, and that is much more!"
HALLOWED BE YOUR NAME
"Even if my name should be praised in the newspapers.
Even if art experts should say my name respectfully -
It would not be of importance!
Only your name is of importance!
I want to praise your name:
When I am successful
and when I am criticised.
When I am working all by myself
and when I am on stage.
When I perform in church
and when I present my artistic works
in secular circles.
When I present spiritual ideas and when my artistic works reflect
you in a more hidden way.
When my work is outstanding
and when it is mediocre
or even below my expectations.
I always want to praise you
And give my best for your glory."
YOUR KINGDOM COME
"Let me never forget: Your kingdom,
that has come with Jesus,
will come in unimaginable dimensions.
Your kingdom, that means
neither the realm of politics, nor of business.
Neither the realm of science, nor of culture.
Not the realm of the churches,
and definitely not my realm.
Your kingdom wants our kingdoms:
our nations and enterprises, our universities and museums,
our libraries and concert halls and theatres,
our churches and my own private kingdom
to pierce, to penetrate, to change
with love and justice.
Turn my art
into a yearning prayer
into a prophetic call
into a rejoicing hope
into a shrill warning:
Your kingdom come!
mankind's kingdom vanish!"
YOUR WILL BE DONE ON EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN
"I need this prayer when I am strong-willed
and when I lose my sense of direction:
Create in me a new heart.
Fill me with your Spirit.
Help me not to follow paths that you don't like.
I am an artist.
I don't like compulsions.
I don't like the petty bourgois.
I don't like a pious style.
Thank you, that you don't force
any human will or religious culture upon me.
You don't force anything upon me.
In your will is freedom.
In your commandments is love.
And in your order is the power that frees me from compulsions:
From everything false around me
and within me.
Also from my own fatal will.
Your will shall coin and guide me day by day."
GIVE US TODAY OUR DAILY BREAD
"You know that many artists have to fight for their existence.
You know that they also need spiritual bread.
Give me bread, Lord!
I will cast my worries on you. Give me bread.
I will then break it with the hungry ones.
I want to receive in order to pass on to others.
I don't want to be focused on my worries
but on you and your kingdom.
And then everything else will be given to me.
FORGIVE US OUR DEBTS AS WE ALSO HAVE FORGIVEN OUR DEBTORS
"If it is true that artists have a prophetic mission
that God's Spirit wants to speak through the arts
that art shall free from darkness
and glorify Jesus Christ
then it shall be free
free from everything that displeases you!
then as an artist I repeatedly
want to happily repent
and generously forgive others!
Show me what is unrighteous at me
pride, envy, wishes of having power,
living according to my desires,
discontent, bitterness, cynicism, superficiality,
pious behaviour, religious law-fullness
Take it away from me!!
Let me be a light
With my art!"
AND LEAD US NOT INTO TEMPTATION, BUT DELIVER US FROM THE EVIL ONE
"Thrice you, Lord, have been tempted.
And thrice you have said no.
Help me to say no, too.
No to the temptation to turn stone into bread:
To feed people with the arts instead of pointing to you!
No to the temptation to throw myself into the depth:
To indulge in artistic world-weariness and depression.
That is not from you. I don't want to shut out the suffering,
but it is not final, because your Son has hung on the cross!
And finally no to the temptation to slowly slide away from you
because of my success
And to bow down before the world (and all its demonic guarantees of success).
You alone I adore. With you I stay.
Deliver me from the evil one."
YOURS IS THE KINGDOM AND THE POWER AND THE GLORY
"Let something from your kingdom,
your power and glory shine through my art.
It is so difficult, for we have lost the language for it.
Help! I don't want to produce trash!
Please, add to my art a special dimension
of your glory.
I don't have any aesthetic concept,
no technique, no style for it.
Only your Spirit can do this!"
"That's how it is!
How difficult this word is for me, sometimes.
I have been told doubts are chic
There is no definite truth.
Art has to constantly question things.
The Amen is therefore so important for me.
My sensitive and often shaken artists' psyche
strengthen it in an unshakable faith
that you live,
that you love me
and that you have also heard this prayer:
That's how it is!"