Everything Could Be a Prayer

One Hundred Portraits of Saints and Mystics

Everything Could Be a Prayer

One Hundred Portraits of Saints and Mystics

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Available October 15, 2024

Pray and meditate along with mystics and saints through this luminous collection of more than one hundred block prints by artist Kreg Yingst, curator of the beloved Instagram account @psalmprayers.

Teresa of Ávila, Howard Thurman, Black Elk, Fannie Lou Hamer, Simon of Cyrene, and Jarena Lee: through radiant woodblock prints of these and other icons of the faith, artist Kreg Yingst ushers us into God's presence. In Everything Could Be a Prayer, mystics who have communed with God and who worked for justice, mercy, and liberation come alive. Yingst carves images onto blocks of wood or linoleum and then inks and prints them on paper. The resplendent portraits of mystics and justice-seekers that result lead us into visio divina, or "sacred seeing." This form of ancient Christian prayer, in which one meditates on a work of art, moves us into sacred reflection and action.

Each mystic embodies a virtue or practice such as mercy, vulnerability, forgiveness, worship, and courage. From Brigid of Kildare we learn hospitality; from Ida B. Wells, truth. From Josephine Bakhita we learn freedom; from Takashi Nagai, trust. All point us toward Christ Pantocrator: ruler of all. Each print is paired with a scripture, a meditation on a life well lived, and a prayer. Everything Could Be a Prayer, complete with Lent and Advent reading guides, is a rich resource for private prayer and communal reflection.

Together with the saints we pray our way toward the resurrection. We pray along with Sandhu Sundar Singh: "You alone do I desire, and where you are, there is heaven." And with Mary of Egypt: "Blessed is God who cares for the salvation of all souls." With this great cloud of witnesses, we find kinship with Christ. We see anew, and we ask: What if everything could be a prayer?


"Beauty! Biography! Prayer! Everything Could Be a Prayer is the perfect intersection for nourishment in these challenging times. My spirits were raised and my heart expanded reading and pondering each page. This book is manna in these desert times."

Simone Campbell, SSS, author of A Nun on the Bus and Hunger for Hope, and recipient of the 2022 Presidential Medal of Freedom

"What Kreg Yingst offers us in this book goes far beyond words and images on a page; it is an invitation to be enveloped in the mystery of Divine Love. I found my heart moved with such joy as I was brought into conversation with so many saints and mystics from across the expanse of time and tradition. Sit with this book long enough and you will begin to see with new eyes, which is just what the mystics hoped and prayed for."

Drew Jackson, poet and author of God Speaks Through Wombs and Touch the Earth

"I love everything about this book--the art, the guidance for practicing visio divina, the spiritual depth of the meditations, and the chosen subjects of those meditations. What a gift!"

Ruth Haley Barton, founder of the Transforming Center and author of Sacred Rhythms

"Kreg Yingst's printmaking inspires and challenges me in my artmaking in all of the best ways. And in addition to a common love of materials, we seem to share a love for many of the same saints. It feels like all of my favorites are here--Brendan, Corrie ten Boom, Nicholas of Myra, Sojourner Truth, Patrick, Albrecht Durer, Hildegard of Bingen, C. S. Lewis--and so many more. This is a wonderful book."

Ned Bustard, printmaker and designer of Every Moment Holy

"As bold and beautiful as any brightly painted Book of Hours, Everything Could Be a Prayer is the most exuberant, vibrant reimagining of visio divina yet. Kreg Yingst has made a portal for meditating with Howard Thurman, Black Elk, Fannie Lou Hamer, Brother Lawrence, Amma Theodora, Abba Moses, Dorothy Day, Teresa of Ávila, Clare of Assisi, Thomas Merton, and many other mystics and justice-seekers."

Carmen Acevedo Butcher, PhD, poet and translator of Brother Lawrence's Practice of the Presence and The Cloud of Unknowing

"Through insightfully curated word and stunning art, Kreg Yingst brings us into the company of those luminous ones who keep things going--inviting us, too, to join in the way of redeeming faithfulness."

Karen Wright Marsh, director of Theological Horizons and author of Vintage Saints and Sinners and Wake Up to Wonder

"Full disclosure: I've been a fan of Kreg Yingst's distinctive and prayerful woodcuts for a number of years now--and I'm delighted to say this new book of his shows that he is as gifted a writer as he is an artist. Everything Could Be a Prayer pairs truly insightful introductions to a wide variety of saints, mystics, and holy troublemakers with art that invites you into meditation and contemplation. This book works both as a daily devotional and as a catalog for discovering some truly amazing spiritual exemplars."

Carl McColman, author of The New Big Book of Christian Mysticism and Eternal Heart

"Kreg Yingst is an artist of great craft and soulfulness. His images are windows into the holy. This book of reflections is such a gift. The sheer breadth of mystics included is marvelous. The written invitations to companion his icons are a call to sit and be with the wisdom offered and let them transform you. Highly recommended!"

Christine Valters Paintner, online abbess at Abbey of the Arts and author of A Different Kind of Fast and other books

"Everything Could Be a Prayer is a gem of a book. Kreg Yingst's block prints of mystics, saints, and justice-seekers are inspirational, bringing them to life in a way that provides a wonderful focus for visio divina, or sacred seeing. His reflections on the lives of these precious people draw us into the presence of God in beautiful ways."

Christine Sine, author of The Gift of Wonder: Creative Practices for Delighting in God

Product Info

  • Publisher Broadleaf Books
  • Format Hardcover
  • ISBN 9781506499482
  • eBook ISBN 9781506499499
  • Dimensions 6.25 x 9.25
  • Pages 225
  • Publication Date October 15, 2024