Take an artist to lunch this week!

If you do, you will get to spend time with someone who probably has a direct and strong prayer connection, whether they call it “prayer” or not. This is because creating art is a soulful, prayerful activity.

Artists will tell you that making art and being creative is at the heart of their personal search for meaning. Most will also tell you that something transcendent happens during this process. The artist Chuck Cereso describes this process perfectly. As you listen to him talk about his art and the process of creating it, substitute the word “prayer” whenever he uses the word “art” and you will see what I mean.

It’s no accident that many places of worship include art objects – stained glass, paintings and sculpture, and include music and great literature in their services. Even if we don't create art ourselves, finding meaning and transcendence in music, lyrics, great stories, wonderful writing and beautiful art is one of the ways we experience our concept of God and our own spiritual nature.

In my childhood, we learned about an “omnipresent” God, one who was everywhere, all the time. This was a difficult concept to understand as a child because I was looking only for the human rendition I had been taught.  I’ve learned as an adult to look and experience the Divine all around me in many, often unexpected, forms. Once you start equating art and prayer, this becomes easier than you may think.

Watch F. Murray Abraham as the composer Antonio Solieri  speaking about Mozart’s music as “the voice of God Himself” in the film Amadeus. Pure prayer. You’ll see.