More Stories of the Impact of Praying Hands, by Mark DeRaud


After I sold the original, I made a Giclee’ print and began to show it. I showed it at a Four Square church, a church which was very generous to me and really supported me as an artist. I had some art up front, some classical looking pieces, including the Praying Hands.

One day at an art show at church, a man came in and stopped me and said,“Mark I just have to tell you about that painting. As I was walking through the lobby to go into the main sanctuary, the Lord just spoke to me and said ‘Tom, I have a new image of the Father for you’.” And he walked in and saw the Praying Hands painting, and he was so blessed by it. He said “Mark the reason why this is so important is because my father sexually abused me until I was well into my teens and he always came up to me from behind just like your painting showed. And so this image was healing.”

He knew all of the theology. Logic isn’t bad— I’m not saying that. But you can know the theology and have your Bible stories and all that, but there is memory lodged in other areas of your body and in your brain, and images can speak and are able to bypasses all that.

We know that images inspired by God can have the power to transform and bypass the logical areas. New positive and inspired images can replace old traumatic images. And it’s part of, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed in the renewing of your mind.”

There is a whole new language of the mind that is now available to us that greatly enhances and brings into a crystal-clear relief what the Bible is talking about when it talks about the mind. There are many scriptures that we just kind of gloss over that now come into sharp focus.  

Another day I was in a local Catholic bookstore sharing the painting with them and I told them the story about the painting. Afterward a woman came up to me and she said “Mark do you know your painting depicts what the Catholic mystics describe when they encounter God?” I was taken a little aback and I said, “No. Do you mean that God embraces them?” She said “No, more specifically that He comes from behind and embraces them and their hands just like your painting.”