God, we come before you–you who first presented yourself to us as a Creator: somebody who makes. The first thing you told us about the people you made was that they were made in your image. Lord, it is no surprise that our enemy would want to mar that creativity, co-opt it for use in ways that would bring harm, dampen the spark and disconnect it from you.
So we come before you and petition on behalf of those people who devote their lives and earn their livelihood through living out the creative image of you within them.
We pray for those people who are especially gifted to work in this way. We know that they are often ‘outside of the box’ thinkers, highly sensitive… their brains work in unusual ways and because of that, they often carry the wounds of feeling like an outsider. Lord, we pray that you would bring healing into their hearts. Would you whisper the truth: that they are made in your image and that you delight in their unique thought processes, their playful childlike spirit, their willingness to continue to chase dreams, ideals and visions despite the fact that the final product never quite meets the first inspiration.
We pray that you would be close to their hearts. We pray that you would breathe your Holy Spirit through those working in creative fields, whether they are believers in you or not. I pray that you would enable them to make works of art: paintings, poetry, novels, movies, albums, sculptures– the vast array of possibilities! I pray that these works would touch the hearts of people, stir up questions, plant seeds of hope, and enliven all of our imaginations: that we might have a greater empathy for our neighbor, a deeper knowledge of ourselves, and most of all –a deeper connection with you.
We think of the first time in the Bible you specifically mention pouring your Holy Spirit into someone - Bezalel, who was called to be the master craftsman of your tabernacle. What a gift, what a powerful calling: to have you empower him through your Spirit to make a space that echoes with your presence, a space that is an embodiment of metaphors and symbols about you. I pray that you would still be working by your Spirit through those in creative callings, that they might follow his path and create works in this world that might echo your presence and call us into communion with you.
I pray for the discouragement that creatives often face. It's very difficult to make a living through a creative vocation. We are living in a culture that is inundated with images–we can easily find creative things mass produced and priced cheaply - it’s easy to discredit the hours and the labor that go into well-crafted original work. It's easy for people to not want to pay a price that would allow someone to make a living by their creative vocation. We pray that you would encourage their hearts– give them the strength to keep going, believing that there is more to what they are doing than we can see, believing that the heart behind the work they’re doing would be speaking to the hearts of others in ways that can bring change beyond what a well-formed argument might be able to bring.
We pray that you would help the church be a space where people with creative gifts might feel welcome despite thinking outside the box and perhaps being a little outside the normal. I pray that we would be a space that can welcome them in and give them a seat at the table.
We pray that as believers are working in their creative vocations, they would write the name of the Lord on their hands: that all of their creative work would be consecrated to you, led by your Holy Spirit. May their making be an act of worship– an offering to you, for your pleasure and for the encouragement of your people. Not a source of personal pride or ego, not as a way to gain the approval of others, but as a service to speak truth in the language of imagination.May their work build empathy, compassion, and curiosity: for our neighbors, for others, and for ourselves…and mostly for you. Draw hearts to you through the work of those in creative vocations and through the act of creativity.
We ask all this in Jesus’ name.