Restoration work begins on Praying Hands Monument

WEBB CITY, Mo. – Jack Dawson is the artist behind the Praying Hands. Witnessing the unrest in the 60’s, he decided to bring to life a symbol to pause and pray.

“As we look for peace, as we look for love or joy, and the meaning in life, then I think that prayer is a vital part of that process.”

The monument was completed in 1973 and its legacy has withstood the test of time, becoming an icon for many locals.

“It’s important for my grandkids to be able to walk out and see this, and drive by and see this thing shining up like a beacon in the air. It’s important for me because it’s my hometown and I think that it’s important for many of my community members, same as me,” said Jonathan Shull, an engineer with North Fork Structural Engineering.

“Especially in today’s times when it seems like the nation is so divided, this is something that seems like it’s good to bring us all together and be able to help out and bring this crew together,” said Ryan Hitt with Solid Rock Concrete.

Inside the Praying Hands statue, you can see how water damage and rust are eating away at the base of the monument.

“We’re trying to firm up the substructure of the praying hands monument. It has been moving around due to environmental loads, even the seismic events we had 5 years ago, and allowing water to go in and infiltrate the interior structure.”

The goal is to reinforce the concrete and secure the foundation. New steel supports will also be added. Seeing the restoration work take place means a lot to Dawson. The message of “hands in prayer, world in peace” remains the same.

“It doesn’t just preserve the monument itself which is vitally important but it also presents to our community and those that pass by they can slow down and wonder why they’re there and then as they get further into the symbol itself they begin to find that God is

very much at work,” said Dawson.