I guess sometimes, maybe even often, my spiritual life becomes routine, rote, maybe a little mundane. I feel my prayer life start to become a little too “regular,” praying in the same way, and often for the same things.
And, I guess there’s nothing innately wrong with that. I suppose I get comfortable with God and talk to him like I would any friend, telling him about my day and asking him to guide and protect me through it.
Only there’s just one catch. He’s not any old friend. There’s no barrier between him and I, Jesus took care of that one on the cross, but there should be an element of reverence in my prayers, right? At least sometimes. Or often. Or most of the time. Sometimes I should make sure the wall has been torn down, the curtain ripped, so to speak. And sometimes, I should present myself to him holy and pure with a bit of fear and reverence for the Good, Awesome, Loving God that he is.
I never really paid much attention to how I prayed (like the actual position of my body) until the mother of a dear friend, who was also a youth leader, pointed it out one day. She mentioned that she thought it interesting that I prayed with my head raised instead of lowered. Not irreverently, but expectantly.
Many years later the thought strikes me again. What is it about our prayer posture? How do we pray? What does it mean? Does it even mean anything at all? Do you care? I do. And, I think there is much significance in how we pray. Not just our words, but our posture, as well.
I would love to share with you one of my very favorite ways to pray and to encourage you to incorporate similar actions in your life, as well.
It’s all in the hands.
My favorite way to pray these days is with open hands. I often pray asking God to give me open eyes to see what/who he needs me to see, open ears to hear what he needs me to hear, and an open heart to know all that he has for me.
In praying this way, I find myself letting go of much and receiving much, as well. It is my chance to loosen my grip on the things that have a hold of me and let them go. It is my chance to listen to the Father say, “Do you think I can have this? Can I take this burden from you? Can you give me this sin in your life because I really see it holding you back. Look how it’s taking up space where I can give you something else.” And he does. He takes, and I give. He gives, and I receive. My hands are open, reminding me to open my heart. My hands are open, reminding me to not hold tight to things of this world. My hands are open, in a posture of expectancy. I can’t wait sometimes to see what he gives to me, whether a word, a gift, or some other revelation.
We’re in good company, you know. In 1 Kings 8:22 Solomon stretched out his hands toward heaven and prayed. In Isaiah chapter one, he speaks of spreading out one’s hands in prayer. And, of course, there are many different postures of prayer, each one with its own meaning.
Although many different postures of prayer are mentioned in the Bible, (face down, prostrate, bowed, kneeling, and others) no where in the Word is there a required posture of prayer. Sometimes we come to the Lord face down in reverence and awe. Sometimes we have heavy hearts. Sometimes we are humbled. Often we are rejoicing. And lately, I am expectant.
How do you pray? What is your posture of prayer? May he open your eyes and speak into your life today.