by Roger Thomas

This content is part of a series.

Getting a Grip on Prayer (5 of 7)
Series: Strengthening Your Grip
Roger Thomas
1 John 5:13-15

Introduction: Perhaps the most enduring symbol of prayer for the last five hundred years has been the painting "Praying Hands" by Albrecht Durer. Most of us have a version of it someplace in our homes. You know the artwork, but do you know the rest of the story?

At about the same time Columbus was sailing for America, Albrecht Durer grew up in tiny German village, one of eighteen children. His father struggled as a goldsmith to just put food on the table for his large family. Two of the Durer boys had a special talent for art. As they grew older, both wanted to study art at the highly respected Nuremberg Academy nearby. But the family didn't have the money to send one much less both of the boys to art school.

After much discussion the family came to a decision. One son would go to school while the other worked to help provide the money. When the first completed the art course, the other would begin while the other supported him. He would sell his art or if all else failed work in the mines as had his brother. Albrecht Durer won a coin toss and went to school. His brother worked in the mines.

Almost immediately, Albrecht was a success. His teachers marveled at his talent. By the time he graduated, he was earning large fees for his commissioned works. At his graduation party, Albrecht toasted his brother whose labor had made his schooling possible. He said to him, "Now, my brother, it is your turn. You can go to Nuremberg to pursue your dream. I will take care of you." But instead of cheerfully thanking him, Albrecht's brother began to sob. When finally able to speak, holding out his hands, he said, "No, brother. I cannot go. Look what four years in the mines have done! Every finger has been smashed at least once. The arthritis is so bad in my right hand that I cannot hold a glass to return your toast, much less a paintbrush. No, broth ...

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