Jump directly to the Content
Jump directly to the Content

Sermon Illustrations

Home > Sermon Illustrations

Andy Crouch Describes ‘Image Bearer’ Prayer Walk

In his book The Life We’re Looking For, author Andy Crouch relates the following spiritual prayer experience. While stuck in Chicago’s O’Hare airport on a cold winter night, he needed some exercise, so he tried the following prayer walk experiment:

As I walked, I decided, I would try to take note of each person I passed. I would pay as much attention to each of them as I could … and say to myself as I saw each one, image bearer. I passed a weary looking man in a suit. Image bearer. Right behind him was a woman in a sari. Image bearer. A mother pushed a stroller with a young baby; a young man, presumably the baby’s father, walked next to her, half holding, half dragging a toddler by the hand. Image bearer, image bearer, image bearer, image bearer. A ramp worker walked by in a bulky coat and safety vest. Image bearer.

By the time I reached the corridor where Terminal 1 connects to Terminal 2, I had passed perhaps 200 people, glancing at their faces just long enough to say to myself, image bearer. I had six more concourses to go. ... After about 45 minutes of walking—image bearer, image bearer, image bearer … I was at the most distant gates.

By the end of the walk … I had passed people in every stage of life and health, [many] national and ethnic backgrounds, some traveling together, most seemingly alone. The stories I would never learn behind each of those faces … the possibility and futility each one had no one and would know … carried an emotional and spiritual weight that I can still feel, years later. From time to time, I repeat this exercise on a city street, in a coffee shop, even driving on the highway with faces are just a blur behind a windshield. Image bearer, image bearer, image bearer. It never fails to move me.

Related Sermon Illustrations

How a Pizzeria Highlights the Gifts of Those with Down Syndrome

In 2000, two parents founded a pizzeria in Rome with the goal of employing people with Down syndrome. Inspired by their son, who had the condition, they named it La Locanda dei Girasoli ...

[Read More]

Science Magazine Tries to Determine Value of Human Life

How much is a human life worth? In attempting to answer that question The British science magazine New Scientist noted the following thoughts:

  • In wrongful death lawsuits, juries and judges decide what amount should be paid in each case. For the overwhelming majority of cases, there is no actual value placed on the deceased person's life. As one legal expert notes, "There's damages for pain and suffering before you die, there's damages for loss of income to your family after you die. But for the life itself that was lost, it's worth nothing."
[Read More]