How now shall we pray?
Have you noticed that missionaries often say that their greatest need is prayer? Artists on mission are no exception.
"Praying for one another is an important part of community. It allows us to walk together as the Body of Christ and stand by one another as children of God," Ned, an OM volunteer, explained to me.
However, praying for the needs of artist missionaries can be difficult if we don’t know what to pray for.
The best thing to do is to ask an artist in ministry how you can specifically be praying for them; however, most artist missionaries have some common prayer needs.
Here are some ways that artist missionaries serving with OM Arts International have asked that you pray for them, and for other artists like them:
Amy, a dancer and theologian from the United States, emphasised the need to pray for the whole person - mind, body, and spirit:
"Art is most powerful when it is being created out of a whole person. We create out of who we are. Often, if we are blocked or struggling in one facet of who we are, we are blocked up in others," she said. "I would pray that artist missionaries are able to create out of the entirety of who they are, and that if healing is needed, that God would bring healing and restore wholeness to the artist."
Chuck, a visual artist, asked for others to pray for artists to be in tune with the environment and people that surround them:
"Pray that they would have eyes to see beyond the surface. To see things, effectively portray them through their art, and that what is created would help open other people's eyes to the Truth."
The creative process
Pat, a writer and co-director of OM Arts, conveyed the need for artists to allow themselves to give the creative process the time it deserves:
"The artist might feel compelled to work, to look busy on the outside, but the reality is that a good deal of the process happens internally. Often, that can look like you're doing nothing but staring out a window, especially for writers, I think. Sometimes, it's the time that's in between the writing where all the writing is really happening," Pat revealed. "Pray for artists to give themselves enough time for the creative process; the headspace to really do the work. Please pray that artists would free themselves to be good stewards of time and for the creative process to create deep, good work."
Opportunities to connect and discernment
Séamus, a worship leader from Ireland, highlighted the importance of connecting with locals and also for discernment while doing ministry:
"Pray for opportunities to arise for artists to connect with local people, churches, and culture. Pray for opportunities to arise where they can open their hearts, share their art, and ultimately to share Christ.
"The opposite stream is that there could be loads of opportunities that come up, and we need wisdom in deciding which ones to say 'yes' to and which ones to turn down. Pray for wisdom and discernment. When opportunities arise for artists in missions, that they would know which ones are of God."