"Praying Hands" by Albrecht Durer"


Since Jesus no longer walks on this earth, He has left His representatives whom Paul said are “members of His Body, individual” (Ephesians 5:30).  We are the visible members of that Body.

Hands, what versatile and wonderful instruments!  They can type and paint word pictures.  They can scratch an itchy nose, hug a loved one, comfort a scared child, work and play.  What wonders they are!

They have the potential to be deadly and the gift to be creative. 


In the last half of the fifteenth century, two struggling young German artists, Albrecht Durer and Franz Knigstein, worked as laborers to earn money to continue their studies.  Because their labors did not allow enough time to advance in their studies, they agreed to draw lots to determine which of them would continue to work and support them both—the winner would remain at his studies.

Durer won, and agreed that when his studies were complete, he would return and finance the studies of his friend.  Durer developed his talent and genius; and as an established success, returned to keep his agreement with Knigstein.  He soon discovered the enormous sacrifice his friend had made for him. 


The hard labor had twisted and bent Franz’s fingers, so that he could no longer manage the delicate brush strokes required of a master painter, but Knigstein felt no bitterness; he was overjoyed at the success of his friend.  One day Durer found him kneeling in prayer, his gnarled hands entwined in spiritual supplication for Albrecht’s continued success.  Albrecht sketched his friends’ hands and later completed the masterpiece known as the “Praying Hands.”  Durer’s masterpiece tells the story of love, labor, sacrifices and gratitude.  Franz’s sacrifice  faded out in time while Albeight has gone down in history as an accomplished painter, wood carver, mathematician, etc.  His success was largely due to unselfish acts of Franz who continued to pray for his friend’s career.  One of the things we remember of Franz Knigstein is the pen and ink sketch that Durer memorialized in the famous painting, "Praying Hands."

Our hands, our lives are the epitome of a Life that was snuffed out at the young age of about 33, but who suffered for our benefit, for our eternal salvation.  It is up to us to keep the One who made our success in this life and the firm promise of Heaven alive for all generations.  We must be the hands of our Savior who gave His all to assure our resurrection and heavenly inheritance!  It’s our job to see that all the world knows “The Way” as we lift the cross, spotlight the empty tomb and tell the world, “He lives!”


Hands were stretched out on a cross one day and were pierced with spikes to enable our hands to be free from the shame and the penalty of sin.  Though those hands were sinless, they became sin for us that we could become sinless in the eyes of God.  The hands of Jesus were hands of “incomprehensible love, labor and sacrifice” enabling those who would accept His love-action to be the successful ones, free from the debt of sin.  He did all the work so we could be free to pursue everlasting life through Him.  The nail-scarred hands were raised from the dead, ascended to the right hand of the throne of God to make intercession for us.

“And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him that filleth all to all” (Ephesians 1:22-23).


Now His Hands are on earth—in the body of Christ.  Take a good look at your hands.  Turn them over and see the nail scars.  We are His Hands!  See them as such.  When you touch the shoulder of a troubled traveler with compassion, it is His Hand.  When you reach down and pick up one who has fallen by the wayside, it is He who lifts that one up and brings restoration.  When you extend your hand in love and fellowship, it is His Hand which has infused yours with His agape love.


We can expect miracles performed by His Hands as we use them as He would.  If we no longer see our hands, but His, we will begin to expect to see what His Hands can do.  Faith will be the operative as we use His hands to perform His work on earth.  His Hands will reach out to those who are without hope and give them a future.  They will raise up those who are sinking in despair to heights of spiritual ecstasy “in Heavenly places” (Ephesians 2:6).  His Hands will be evangelical and care for those who are lost, bringing Christ to them for salvation, and then they will nurture the new babes with the milk of the Word until they too become “His Hands.”


Never look at your hands without seeing His.  When you see His Hands, your hands will be healers, helpers, encouragers and live-givers.  They will never hurt, harm or destroy.  We are the members of His Body, His Hands, His Feet and filled with His Love to act as He would Himself.  Practice seeing His Hands in your palms, His Fingers, His nail scarred Wrists that were sacrificed for your success and eternal blessings.

Now, reach out His Hand that is at the of your arm, take mine as I reach and take another.  We can encircle the world with His Hands creating an aura of love like this world has never seen before.

“For God so loved the world….” (John 3:16).

Nail-scarred hands prove it!






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@ There's Good News August 2014

"His Hands" was originally published on Rev. James Lewis' website, "Word of Life" (now closed)


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