Prayer, Plain and Simple

new-painting-324x205.jpgA fingerprint worth 150 million? Yes, when that fingerprint on an obscure painting can be traced to Leonardo da Vinci . This week forensic art experts revealed that an overlooked work does appear to bear da Vinci’s fingerprint. If confirmed, they say the value of the painting would be almost impossible to calculate.  

The profile portrait painting called “Profile of the Bella Principess” was presumed to be a 19th-century German work. New York art dealer Kate Ganz had owned it for 11 years after purchasing it at auction for a similar price. Imagine her angst today! But no one knew. All the while, no one connected to the painting even suspected its true origin or imagined its worth.

Until an anonymous Swiss collector followed a hunch and purchased the piece from the Ganz gallery in New York in 2007… Price: $19,000.

A team of experts spent the next two years investigating the painting. They found a print of an index or middle finger on the canvas that matched a fingerprint from Leonardo’s “St. Jerome” in the Vatican. Experts acknowledge that Leonardo used his hands frequently as part of his painting technique. The consensus among experts is that it is the first authentic da Vinci discovered in more than 100 years.

A priceless treasure for $19,000…

Jesus told a story about a man who discovered a treasure in a field, then went and sold everything he had to buy the land where the treasure sat. Jesus is teaching wise investment. When we find something of infinite value we need to pay whatever price necessary to secure that treasure. Things of spiritual value are far greater treasure than material wealth. We’re wise, even shrewd when we exchange our time, energy, and physical resources for what has infinite, forever value.

Prayer well invested brings us long, long, long term returns. The investments we make in intercession invite God to change circumstances now and for all eternity. The moral of this modern story of discovered treasure bought at a bargain price echoes Jesus’ parable: we’re prudent when we cut a deal at whatever price for that which is priceless. Investing time in prayer reaps boundless rewards!

Question: What returns have you seen in the prayer investments you have made? What eternal returns are you counting on?

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