November 25, 2013
Call For Entries: Women At Prayer
An ECVA On-Line Exhibition

Let my prayer be set before you as incense,
The lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.

(Psalm 141)

Jesus invited his disciples to “pray always and not lose heart,”  and throughout the centuries faithful women and men have responded to this call.  Indeed we can imagine that great cloud of witnesses, the Communion of Saints — those living and those who have passed over to the further shore — raising hearts and hands and voices in prayer, echoing the words of the Psalmist above.

Prayer is putting oneself in the hands of God, at his disposition,
and listening to his voice in the depths of our hearts.

(Mother Teresa in "Mother Teresa: In My Own Words.")

In the written record left from those centuries, as in scripture itself, women’s voices — their experiences and their prayers — have been given little space.  Yet how vital and stirring are those prayers, speaking to us with power across the barriers of time and space. 

O great Chief,

light a candle within my heart

that I may see what is therein

and sweep the rubbish from your dwelling place.

("An African girl" in "Women of Prayer: An anthology of
everyday prayers from women around the world." Compiled
by Dorothy Stewart.)

Consider the widow of Zaraphath, whom God charges to feed Elijah; or the Canaanite woman who intercedes with Jesus for the healing of her daughter; or Mary and Elizabeth, whose prayers stir us to listen for God’s call to us.

... prayer is not asking for what you think you want,
but asking to be changed in ways you can’t imagine.

(Kathleen Norris in "Amazing Grace: a Vocabulary of Faith.")

Consider the countless women — from Julian of Norwich to Mother Teresa, from Sojourner Truth to Dorothy Day — who touch us with words of passionate devotion and deep truth.  And consider the nature of their prayers, which move us to experience their adoration, lament, protest, contrition, intercession...

Dead-tired Jesus,

help me and my dear ones to endure patiently

the helpless weakness of our souls and bodies.

("Four Lithuanian women imprisoned in northern Siberia for their faith" in "Women of Prayer: An anthology of everyday prayers from women around the world." Compiled by Dorothy Stewart.)

What would it be like to lift up the voices of women praying in our own day? What if we brought together women from across the world, women bound by an abiding love for Jesus, to share their personal stories, deepest hopes, dreams, and personal prayers — as we listen to God and to one another?  

A woman like me needs a sewing machine today.
     To build her business.
Sustain her spirit of enterprise.
     Her dream of providing for her family.
Help us offer partnership to women.
     As they work toward economic independence.

(Jenifer Gamber in “Lifting Women’s Voices to Change the World.")

What would the prayers of women tell us today about our differences:  about their lives, about their understanding of God; about our own lives, and our own understanding of God. How
would a deeper understanding of these differences build bridges
of spirit? What ways of listening would be born? How would we support each other?

Be merciful to me Lord, for I am lonely and weak.
Do not let anybody who is willing to help me and my friends be weak.
Give them strength.
Give me strength.

(Mirabelle of Abangoh, Cameroon from "An Orphan's Prayer" in “Lifting Women’s Voices to Change the World.")

The Center for Anglican Communion Studies at Virginia Theological Seminary and The Society of the Companions of the Holy Cross will convene just such a gathering in March, 2014, called Anglican Women at Prayer: Weaving our Bonds of Affection.

Prayer connects us to God and God’s power. Changes take place when we pray. Sometimes the issue is transformed, at other times we are the ones changed. Either way, God’s power is at work.

(From "Faithful in Prayer" on Mothers' Union web site.)

As our contribution to this work, Episcopal Church & Visual Arts (ECVA) invites visual artists — men as well as women —  from around the world to submit images which visualize women’s experience of prayer, their work of prayer, their prayers. These images will be curated in an online exhibition and projected during the conference. In addition, some images may be reproduced in print for the conference.

God Almighty,

You have created us for a purpose.

Help us to fulfill it by your Holy Spirit.

(Pritty Sangma of Guwahati, India in “Have Mercy, Oh Lord” in “Lifting Women’s Voices to Change the World.”)


Phoebe Griswold
Chair, Anglican Women at Prayer: Weaving our Bonds of affection
Member, The Society of the Companions of the Holy Cross

Margaret Adams Parker
Artist; Adjunct Instructor, Religion and Culture, Virginia Theological Seminary

C. Robin Janning
Artist; Executive Director, ECVA


Submission Requirements
Please read the following information carefully.

This Call for Entries is open to all visual artists who are moved to express — to make visible — women’s experience of prayer, their work of prayer, their prayers. This Call is open to all artists whether or not they are members of The Artists Registry @ ECVA.

Images may include any original work of fine art or fine craft. Artists may submit 1 to 3 images, along with a brief statement (150 words) about their entries and a brief biography (less than 150 words).

All images submitted for consideration must be in either GIF or JPEG file format, and sized so that they are at least 1000 pixels (13.889 inches) on the SHORTEST side of the image, when displayed at a resolution of 72 pixels-per-inch (ppi).

Send your images attached to an e-mail (one image per e-mail, please) to

The subject line of the e-mail should contain YOUR NAME along with the exhibition title, "Women At Prayer," and the number of your entry/entries (1 of 1, 1 of 3, 2 of 3, etc.).

The subject line of the e-mail should look similar to this:

Subject: YOUR NAME, Women At Prayer, 1 of 3

In the body of the e-mail, provide your NAME (as you wish it to be shown), the TITLE of the your original work of fine art or fine craft, and the medium used. Please include a brief statement about the image and your brief biography in the body of the e-mail, not as an separate attachment.

Do not use previous ECVA entry forms. All submissions must be received no later than

January 27, 2014

PLEASE NOTE: Images submitted for this Call must NOT have been shown in any previous ECVA Exhibition or featured on the Art Blog at Episcopal Cafe. By submitting entries for this exhibition, you agree that we may
use the images on the
ECVA web site; on the Art Blog at
Episcopal Cafe;
in the ECVA Newsletter; in printed and on-line promotional material produced by ECVA or the Conference;
and in projected slideshows
during the Conference.

All entries must be sent to If you have any questions, please send them to

NOTE: You can always find the current Call from a link on the ECVA home page at

Mailing Address: Episcopal Church and Visual Arts, Inc.
815 Second Avenue New York, NY  10017

© 2013 Episcopal Church and Visual Arts, Inc.

See Statement of Artist's Rights Here