About the Project

Portraits for Prayer has a simple mission: Encouraging more people to pray for others – people they may not even know – due to the increased sense of humanity that a portrait, as well as details about the person in that portrait, will generate. People say, “please pray for my grandmother” or “please pray for my daughter” in times of crisis – and some people may. But I believe these requests become much harder to ignore when a part of the person’s story is attached to the request. This project’s mission is to make your request for prayer harder to ignore.

Portraits for Prayer is a free initiative developed for those who feel prayer – as much of it as possible – is the only hope in getting through a situation that threatens your life or the life of somebody you care about: terminal illness, cancer, heart disease, AIDS, substance abuse issues – or maybe those who are in need of a transplant. All these devastating situations can make even the most skeptical atheist turn to prayer when there is little modern medicine can do for them or their loved ones anymore.

Maybe you or your loved one is facing an undiagnosed condition – something that has all the doctors guessing. The anxiety generated by not knowing what is wrong with you or a loved one can be just as bad as the condition itself. What else is there to do but pray that the doctors can accurately diagnose it so they can treat it? What about those who have been diagnosed with cancer who have only been given a brief amount of time to live – but manage to beat the odds against them and come out of it, like others have, due to the skill of their medical providers and the grace of God? What about those who live when doctors have no logical explanation of why they have lived other than it being a miracle – the work of God? What about those who lose a loved one but manage to keep a healthy perspective on their loss, despite the pain they feel over it. Stories like these are why I started this project – I want there to be more of them.

I’ve decided to volunteer my time one Sunday per month and do a portrait of someone who is facing tough days ahead, maybe even death, and feels nothing but God’s help will get them through it. I will learn about you or your loved one based on the profile questions (below) as well as conversation during the photography session, and I will process what I feel is the best photograph I take of you or your loved one based on your story. Afterwards, the portrait will be posted on the Portraits for Prayer website along with select profile questions.

Once posted, the power of social media will be leveraged to get your request in front of as many people as possible. For some, the prayers received may be a key factor in the return to the good health of yourself or your loved one. For others, the prayers received become just as much about the emotional health of you or your loved ones in dealing with the passing of someone they care about.

This project is open to anyone who applies: Christians, Buddhists, Atheists, Muslims – you name it. I believe we all have different interpretations and names for God, and I believe He hears all of our wishes, even from those who don’t believe in Him. He listens to those who just believe in “karma,” too. He listens to you. The only religious message I hope to convey to others with all this — by what I’m doing rather than what I’m saying — is simple: Love One Another. Hopefully, I can play a part in the healing of a few people in the process — with your help — and with your prayers.

This project is the result of my desire to use my ability as a portrait photographer for something other than just making money. This project is not meant to undermine modern medicine and the amazing things that can be done through it but rather to supplement it.

-Keith Taylor