Praying Hands and Andy Warhol

By on April 1, 2013

This morning, in the Wall Street Journal, an article was placed about the Praying Hands drawn by Albrecht Dürer in 1508. It seems that this artful rendition of a holy moment, has gone “viral”, having found its way into pop culture and appearing in so many places, from coffee mugs, and candles at the gas station, to Andy Warhol’s art and eventually on his tombstone. Even Justin Bieber has it tattooed on his leg surrounded by roses! What’s up with that?

According to the article, the drawing of the unadorned praying hands was first created as a sketch that would be in a painting for a church in Frankfurt, Germany, of the Virgin Mary as she entered heaven, and an who apostle knelt with praying hands watching her assumption. The painting was destroyed in a fire in 1729. If the sketch of the praying hands came to auction, the price it would fetch would probably break all-time prices records.

The thing that makes me go, “hmm,” is simply this. These famous people, with supposed great wealth, love the humble, unadorned praying hands of one who appears to have little in this world; but, who has wealth invested in a relationship with the Lord. It seems as if there is a soul inside of them that needs to live, but which is stifled by the life-style of their owner. A soul, which recognizes the absence of Christ, and craves his presence.

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Blaise Pascal, a French mathematician, philosopher and physicist said “There is a God shaped vacuum in the heart of every man which cannot be filled by any created thing, but only by God, the Creator, made known through Jesus.”

mg_8740-Praying-hands-682x1024The vacuum in our society is active in the soul of our children, and they know its pull, but instead of trying to fill it with the cross that will fill this void, they are filling the vacuum with drugs, fake religions, and empty sexual relationships with no commitment.

So many have had a Christian upbringing, but they do not find the value in attending church. They want a real disciplined faith, they want to see the unadorned, calloused hands of faithful fathers and mothers; and, they want to see prayer that makes a difference!

They don’t understand that this is a fallen world, and that they are the ones who can make a difference. They have been so wounded by divorce, and gluttonous leaders who live a fraudulent life in front of those whom they lead, that they have reverted to a life slogan, “YOLO”, You Only Live Once.

When they are living life on the edge they yell out “YOLO!” Before they take a hit of speed they yell out, “YOLO!”. A trip some return from fine, and others never return, and others still return permanently damaged. You can change “hit of speed” for anything that begins with “watch this – YOLO”!

We can blame the Church, yes, the church has issues; and we can blame the school, and the culture, but the truth is, we are the parents, and it is our responsibility to set an example for them.

They hear a message from the world that money, and social standing, are premium; and hard labor is for those who have no education or who are less valuable. Maybe I’m wrong…if I am, I’m not far off.

Twisting the rings on my fingers as I ponder my own words, and a song comes on the radio with the chorus “money for nothin, and the chicks for free”, and my head drops in silent prayer.

Prayer in our homes is not to be so private our children never know that their names are daily brought before the King of Kings – that they matter, that God sees them/ loves them/ that they are here for a purpose, a kingdom purpose! Our children need to hear us praying, and our teens need to be invited to pray with us.

May our children see our calloused, leathered hands praying, and know that this is the answer to the cross shaped void in their hearts. I wonder if Andy Warhol’s parents prayed with him?


Originally posted on Diane W. Bailey.

About Diane Bailey

I am Diane W. Bailey. The “W” was added after I searched the web and discovered how many Diane Baileys there are in the world. I live in the heart of Alabama. Wife to Joseph, mom to two adult children, step mom to two adult children and Grandmother, a.k.a Gigi, to three, who are my reward for not resigning from motherhood when things got tough! My nest is empty now, but not my life, I am just as busy as ever writing, speaking and ministering to others-just a new dimension of life. Her website:

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Praying Hands and Andy Warhol