Last night, I did a little prophetic art exercise with my small group. It was so much fun! I got to share a little about how I approach art, and some of the many reasons why it is so valuable, necessary, and beneficial in the church. As I prepared for the night, here are some of the things I wanted to discuss with the group!
It is a creative act.
As you know, God is the Master Creator. Ecclesiastes tells us that there is nothing new under the sun (1:9). Everything in the universe has stemmed from God, and engaging in anything creative, whether it’s painting, music, dancing, singing, or decorating your dorm room, is continuing the eternal process of creation. Our job is to create things, influenced by God. We create people and buildings, systems and relationships, and we create names for things and bodies of knowledge. Of course, none of this is originally from us, we are simply continuing the process that God has started! This is one of our greatest callings; to create!
It allows us to communicate better.
Generally, art is used for communication. Art communicates emotions, stories, or ideas that might not be easily conveyed in words or sounds. Studying a single picture of a Holocaust victim can be more heart-wrenching than reading the entire story of Anne Frank. Visual communication is powerful, and can be used to communicate more effectively with one another, and connect to each other.
It is an opportunity to minister to one another.
In “prophetic art,” we are specifically seeking God’s guidance and conversation. We make ourselves into a vessel for the emotions, stories, or ideas that God wants us to communicate! We are placing Heavenly significance into what we are creating. Then, that piece of art is given to someone else, whether it is hung on the wall and given to the public, or purchased by an individual, or given away by the artist, that prophetic message that an artist and God have created is shared. Simply through the process of creating and sharing prophetic art, we are ministering to one another, and sharing emotions, ideas, and stories that come as a prophetic word to us from God. 1 Corinthians says we are to edify each other through prophesy, in order that we can strengthen, encourage, and comfort one another (14:3). Prophetic art is a perfect vessel for this communication.
It gives us time to focus on God.
When I sit down with God, especially as I’m just beginning to do this regularly, I tend to get lost. My mind wanders, I find it difficult to focus on reading the Bible, and I sometimes get distracted with other things as I pray or meditate. Sometimes, it is hard for me to grasp the concept of “spending time with God,” because it is so abstract. Prophetic art, and other creative things like writing or singing, give me something to do as I sit with God. It gives me a concrete feeling of God, as I ask Him to share things with me and I put them down on paper or canvas. It is similar to dating: when you go on a date with someone, sometimes it is nice to just sit together and watch the clouds. Other times, you need something to DO! Art gives us a place to go and sit with God, and a reason to listen to God and ourselves.