Light Prayers: 3. The Shape of Light

Isaiah 45:7  NIV  “I form the light . . .”

One of the most delightful memories of my childhood was living next door to a potter, in the town of Icoaraci.  I still savor the memories of watching the entire process.

Periodically his whole family would float their bulky barge-like boat upriver for an unpleasant day of hacking clay out of a riverbank and loading it onto the boat.  When the tide was right, they floated it back down to the potter’s shed and began the equally odious task of manually unloading random shaped chunks of clay.

Eventually portions of the cache were placed in a depression in the earth where feet kneaded water into the stiff mass until sticks, roots and stones could be felt and extracted.

The end goal was a row of clean balls of clay, each half the size of a soccer ball.  They were covered with a cloth and kept damp over the succeeding days.

I lived for design day.

The potter would never tell me what he was going to make, but I got to sit on the little bench opposite the potter’s wheel and watch.  He would scrape the wheel vigorously, wet the center a little bit, then go get a ball of clay.

His leathered right foot would set the table spinning while he turned the ball over and over in his hand.  Then he would slam it down with accuracy in the middle of the table.

Both hands were dipped in the bowl of dirty water off to his right.  Then with a master’s sense of the audience he would envelop the ball with both hands, slowly squeezing it into absolute uniformity.

I always wondered whether he knew what he would make before he started and he just enjoyed tormenting me with expectation, or whether he truly was debating what THIS piece of clay was supposed to be.

Eventually, long after I was past ready, the two powerful thumbs were lowered over the center of the ball and the miracle happened one more time.  Under his seemingly effortless touch, the ball became a vessel.  Usually within a couple of minutes I could tell whether it was going to be a bowl, or a vase, or a water pot, or . . .

His hands could make any of them from a lump of clay.

Now let’s up the game.

We don’t have a verb for a potter exerting his skill on a ball of wet clay.  To potterize the clay doesn’t really sparkle.  We use the cheap and tawdry verb, “to make” a pot out of the clay.

How plebeian!

The Hebrew does capture the concept with its own word:  yatsar.

This is the word used for the Master Designer forming man out of the soil.  No rectilinear Gumby doll here.  With a skill that relegated Michelangelo to the ranks of a mere amateur, the Master Sculptor drew into visibility and perfect balance every rippling muscle and sinew, every fold of the skin over the facial bones, padded with exactly the right amount of subcutaneous soft tissue and each bony joint, from the hip bone down to the smallest joint of the little finger or toe.

He formed.  He molded.  He sculpted.  He designed.  He crafted.

We lack the word yatsar in our language.  It is all of the above and more.

Now take the exquisite attention to detail captured in the word yatsar and apply it to light, because that is the precise word in Isaiah 45.  God formed, molded, sculpted, designed, crafted light.

Ever tried that?  It is horrifically difficult for a rank amateur.  And I am just talking about the successful distribution of light from a lamp not crafting light as an essence!

Our video studio is one pathetic monument to ineptness.  We have a bunch of lights and endless gels and umpteen adjustments on every single fixture.  And we have horrible hot spots, endless rebellious shadows and dark spots on my face when I turn a particular way.

We can’t even DISPLAY light well.

Imagine being asked to form it.

What shape of light would God use to cause the two key people to find me?  Round light?  Sharp light?  Pointed light?  The diffused light of a sunrise seen in the clouds on the western horizon?

How would God form the light to release to me the secret of the left atrium of the heart?

Or better yet, what texture or contours would the light have that would reveal the things I don’t know that I don’t know when I am so not looking for them?

Now think about the pleasure people have in creating shapes and forms.

I think of Dad hand-planing a piece of wood for any one of the three outboard motor boats he built from scratch.  He would shave just a little bit more off five or six times until there was a perfect fit.  And it was a point of pleasure, not pain, to that craftsman.

Think of the lady decorating the cake and the joy she finds in the perfectly symmetrical twirls and swirls produced by the uncommon partnership between eye and hand, graced by dozens of large and small muscles.

What about the great golfer partnering with a designer to craft the surface of that new golf course that will give the discerning professional a new flavor of pleasure?

How much joy is there in the concept division of the Porsche or Lotus factories as the engineers experiment with radical new forms and shapes for the next generation of male legitimacy crutches?

A thousand different trades find deep fulfillment out of shaping, forming, sculpting, designing and molding new shapes.

And each one of those tradesmen received that capacity for gratification from God who Himself finds pleasure in the world of shapes.

“Father of Heavenly Lights, we invite You to experience pleasure of a divine magnitude on the playing field of Sapphire Leadership Group.  We desire to bring this team of Noble Subjects into perfect alignment with your metric for light: let them see and be seen according to your design and desire.

“But we ask You to bring immense glory to Yourself by the ways in which You form the different kinds of light needed.  We will most likely not be able to see the shapes and textures of Your finely crafted masterpieces, but the spiritual realm will see them clearly and can celebrate them for us.

“We invite You to create shapes and forms of light You have never used before so that the Twenty-four Elders who worship continually will be exposed to some new facets of Your infinite wisdom.

“Let the mastery of the art of shapes which brought this universe into being be applied to the field of light on behalf of SLG, we ask, in one accord, with deep anticipation.”

Copyright January 2014 by Arthur Burk

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21 Responses to Light Prayers: 3. The Shape of Light

  1. Roslyn says:

    Boy! are you in for some gloriously surprising, thrilling, spirit expanding, mind blowing times & seasons. If I could express what I am seeing, hearing, tasting during these prayer sessions any better than this I would.

  2. dorisann says:

    This is a new Arthur I am reading these past weeks. Not so heady; more tangible in my spirit. I like what God`s light has already done. The followers of Jesus were drawn to His light, this created light. Those that needed to see Him did and so will they with you.Blessings to the growing light of your spirit Arthur and crew.

  3. Lee Ann says:

    Wow! Arthur’s skill with words triggered an avalanche. Thank you Cheri, Tanya, Joan and others for your own beautiful paintings with words. I love that the Creator triggers these wonderful thoughts and words in us. I love it that He spoke everything into being!

    I was struck by Arthur’s use of the word “alignment”. As I drive by acres of bare fields, the Lord has used them to speak to me about being like soil that’s been prepared for planting, and for the bearing of fruit to glorify Him. He has also been speaking the word “alignment” to me, which I have been praying for myself, my family, and my church family. I want to be in alignment with His heart, His Spirit, His mind and His plan, both corporately and individually. I’m now also praying that for the SLG.

  4. Jude says:

    You’ve just expanded my horizon!

  5. Mary S says:

    Yes LORD Yes, with immense glory! AMEN

  6. Martha Borth says:

    I’ve signed up for your prayer assignments before, but this one is one wild ride. This prayer journey through Light Himself is leaving me breathless. I am eager to watch Light doing what only He knew needed to be done in each and in all of us. Also, thanks for always modeling to us to look past the verses we have memorized all of our lives. “In Him was no darkness at all,” Wow.

  7. Serina says:

    I love the bigness of prayer,
    “We invite You to create shapes and forms of light You have never used before so that the Twenty-four Elders who worship continually will be exposed to some new facets of Your infinite wisdom”.

    Everything God has created so far, there is still no limit for Him to create something new. This is huge!

  8. The shape and size of light is a picture I will be savoring – and praying! – in this and many other applications. Wow. The comparison of the potter molding the clay with his hands to the Creator molding the light is extraordinary. I have asked many times for the right shape and size of a spiritual structure to be built by God, but never the same for light. I can imagine how specific, how custom-fit, how absolutely perfectly matched He could make the light to the scenario of any one of us. Wow. Love it. Looking forward to praying it this week!

  9. Cheri says:

    Last night I took my grandson to a junior astronomy class about Jupiter and after many activities on the compound and elaborate composition of this gaseous planet covered with erupting volcanoes and fire storms, we went out to view it in the night sky through a high powered telescope. Jupiter’s iridescent sapphire-sparkle, although brighter than most, melted into a field of glittering diamonds we usually take for granted and hardly ever notice, but with intentional magnification, the sight was breath-taking. Perfectly aligned between four of its 63 moons, the string of alabaster Pearls spoke volumes of celestial mysteries – crafted light only viewable in the dark – a deep darkness so incomprehensibly massive which could not quench the light of perfect harmony – like a “team of Noble Subjects fitted into perfect alignment with His metric for light: to see and be seen according to His design and desire.” Then we viewed two nests of baby stars, an altogether different design of supernatural light, soft and nurturing lined with soft rainbow hues hidden in the cloak of deep darkness, not visible to the naked eye yet full of purpose and destiny – again intentionally crafted light revealing the Goodness of its creator. We wove our way home through the dark mountain forest and popped out face-to-face with a spectacular [almost] full moon rising, maybe a hands breadth above the horizon. It’s colossal, beaming orb the color of autumn leaves dripping with amber honey, dotted with terra cotta freckles and peanut butter swirls, yet lighting up the sky like none of its peers, kissing the earth with its nearness, shouting hope and timeless faithfulness. It commanded reverence and awe requiring us to pull off the road and stare at its majestic wonder as it imprinted its love on our souls. What a profound concept you presented as we experienced how “each unique light-holder brings immense glory to the Father by the ways in which He forms the different kinds of light needed, and receives deep fulfillment out of shaping, forming, sculpting, designing and molding new light shapes.” It is a small thing for the Creator of lights to design forms never used before and expose new facets of His infinite wisdom, and we share your deep anticipation as the “mastery of the art of shapes which brought this universe into being is applied the field of light shining out of the deep darkness on behalf of SLG and its tribe.”

  10. Renate says:

    Thank you so much for this great post and prayer! And thanks as well to Hanna for the beautiful, inspiring designs on the website introducing the prayer each week! Wow! I love each one and enjoy looking at it the whole week.

  11. TANYA says:

    I’ve been looking forwards to this #3 light prayer since you mentioned your enjoyment in writing it in a past blog entry. Working with clay was my favourite medium to use in art class while in school.
    The part in your blog which you wrote,

    “Eventually portions of the cache were placed in a depression in the earth where feet kneaded water into the stiff mass until sticks,roots and stones could be felt and extracted”

    Wow and WOW, does that paint a picture of the potter(God) and the clay(us), but your next sentence,
    “The end goal was a row of clean balls of clay,….”
    We are all on different journeys to wholeness/cleanness, some of us are longer in that “earth depression” than we want and try to climb out too soon. Some of us don’t want to come out into the light. The awesomeness of God the potter he knows the timing of which, and will work with us till we are that “clean ball of clay”. The neat thing about needing to have all the sticks, roots and stones extracted is, that when the clay is exposed to light/heat the uncleaned clay vessel will not cure strong to complete the task for which it was created for. But when Cleaned, heated, glazed, and under light does it reflect. God loves to illuminate His creation, we just need to see the spectrum He is using in each person and situation. So I pray that the two key people and SLG would connect in the right light spectrum of Father God’s choosing.

    The other thing I enjoyed about this #3 light prayer post is the blue graphic on SLG’s home page, just want to say well done to who put it together!

  12. Franzelle says:


  13. K8 says:

    Just read this aloud to hubby and four of our children. We were all captivated. They have been forming and molding and fashioning all sorts of things since getting various types of clay for Christmas. The idea of forming light is exciting! Seven year old Andrew commented God made light sparkly. I was thrilled by the thread of motion throughout. We’ve just had some very neat family discussion spurned by your delightful imagry and now they’re back to yatsaring. Thanks for letting us be part of the wonder filled journey.

  14. nancy says:

    I’m feeling so “Hands-on”, adored by my Heavenly Father right now. The shaping…the breathing…the illuminating, continues. I’m definitely on board, praying for you and SLG for this week. Thank you.

  15. fierysword says:

    I felt compelled to come here to express my pleasure in just reading what you’ve crafted in words,, So far above my ability to even think in this terminology and yet how it filled me with “Wonder” like a child again . . . .Now, it seems my tongue is stripped to say anything more but WOW. and Thank you for stirring up Hope in me 🙂

  16. Joan Westaway says:

    Wow! What exquisite artistry in your penmanship, Arthur!
    As I read this I was seeing each segment with 3-D clarity. The work of your potter stirred the most!
    Then it was like a wide pond or lake, rippling with the wind, shimmering and mystical in its symmetry of movement… the light dancing with delight, according to some musical score.
    Eyes drawn upward to further light play… A supple branch of a profusely flowering pink Grevillia (Bottlebrush) begins to dance and pirouette with the acrobatics of part-hidden lorikeets (small honey-loving parrots). How the light refracts off each drop of honeydew hanging on each curly tip! Each pink glistening drop is magnified, amazingly reflecting the perfect image of its environment… before it scatters, tossing tiny droplets with apparent abandon, each revelling in the delight of the Divine Designer! Delicious!
    Your words triggered this poetic flow, Arthur!
    And through it, there is this flow of expanding productivity, that rippling smoothness of the water’s expanse being symptomatic of much productivity in hidden places, spreading to further shores.
    Then there are those lorikeets, those who have first access to the first-fruits of SLG, even tearing it apart in eagerness for its life-giving sweetness. They know to drink deeply for their nourishment… but they have in them that desire to shiver and shake the blossoms, to have fun, screeching with delight at their find, word-of-mouth advertising… for only then will the greater good be shared with others. The exquisite detail revealed in miniature and replicated faithfully, can now be dispersed to diverse targets, with random divine accuracy. All bathed in this life-giving Light, which comes from the Father of Lights!
    Continuing to pray, as never before…
    In the fading light of Sunday’s dusk… Joan

  17. Roxanne Myron says:

    Week 3
    Powerful m thanks noble subjects.

  18. sange says:

    joining you in prayers for the manifestation of Light in your journey Arthur ..blessings

  19. Nita Dibble says:

    Have been looking into the things the Lord has led you to reveal to me. These Light Prayers have lifted a burden. God Bless, Nita Dibble

    • SLG says:

      Nita! A voice from my past. How lovely to find you here in our neighborhood. Blessings on you, my friend. Your name stirs good memories.

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