Postures of Prayer & Praise are
“outer representations of an inner reality”
Exploring: Hands Extended Palms up – Receiving
Ezra 9:5-6 – Then, at the evening sacrifice, I rose from my self-abasement, with my tunic and cloak torn, and fell on my knees with my hands spread out to the LORD my God and prayed: “O my God, I am too ashamed and disgraced to lift up my face to you, my God, because our sins are higher than our heads and our guilt has reached to the heavens.”
Ezra is asking for grace and mercy from God. Verse 5a indicates that he is in mourning because of his sin. As we seek forgiveness, we receive forgiveness from God. With palms open before the Lord, we can fully expect to receive what God so lavishly pours out upon his people. We can also receive from others by allowing them to be the hands and feet of Christ when we are in need.
I Peter 5:7 – Cast all your cares upon him because he cares for you.
When someone offers us a gift, we open our palms and extend our hands in order to receive the gift they offer. We can’t receive a gift with clenched hands—we must open in order to receive. As we cast our cares upon Jesus, we empty our hands so they are open to receive strength out of the glorious riches by the power of the Holy Spirit (Eph 3:16).
Psalm 141:2 – May my prayer be set before you like incense; may the lifting up of my hands be like the evening sacrifice.
As we lay (set) down those things that God has asked us to give up, it frees our hands to lift them up again in worship—hands that are empty. Not worshiping because of what He’s done, but simply because He is worthy of our praise. As we let go, we are free to worship without worldly hindrance.
Putting It Into Practice
This posture can be done standing, seated or kneeling. With palms up, the backs of the hands can rest on your legs, lap, the floor, or a table in front of you. In this picture, my friend Krystal is kneeling before God. What a beautiful picture—emptying her hands of her burdens, she finds rest in the peace of his presence.
Today, you might want to begin with closed hands. Think of the things you hold onto with a tight grip—the things you fear letting go of. As an act of surrender, open your hands and release these things to the Lord, trusting him to care for them, because he cares for you. Then rest with palms up and open, and allow your spirit to receive from his Holy Spirit. If you can, imagine Jesus placing gifts of grace, mercy and love into your open palms. Luke 11:13 says, “And if you, who are evil, know to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in Heaven give The Spirit of Holiness to those who ask him?” Ask your Father in Heaven, and you will receive.
EMBODIED :: Postures of Prayer & Praise
In this “Embodied” series, we are exploring postures of prayer and praise, in order to live a more fully embodied life. You can find the full explanation here, as well as links to all postures below:
EMBODIED DAY 1 :: Hands Raised
EMBODIED DAY 2 :: Palms Down
EMBODIED DAY 3 :: Palms Up
EMBODIED DAY 4 :: Hands Together
EMBODIED DAY 5 :: Hands to Heart
EMBODIED DAY 6 :: Hands Flat (Prostrate)
EMBODIED DAY 7 :: Hands Clapping
You can also find the full Embodied feature translated to Spanish here: EMBODIED Spanish Posturas de oración y adoración
If you have any questions, please feel free to comment below. Also as we journey together, feel free to share your experience by commenting here or Facebook or Instagram. I welcome your thoughts and observations.
Thank you for joining the journey!
Blessings of ARTistry, CREATivity & BEaUty, Jody
(C) 2018 Jody Thomae
Jody Thomae is the author of God’s Creative Gift—Unleashing the Artist in You, a devotional book with Bible studies to nurture the creative spirit within and to serve as a resource for creative Christians, artists, musicians and worshippers. She has been involved in worship arts ministry since 1997, coordinating artistic involvement in church services and regional worship events through dance, drama, poetry and fine arts. She performs, choreographs, preaches, leads worship, teaches, coordinates and leads workshops in the area of creativity, spirituality and embodied prayer. She has also released a devotional CD, Song of the Beloved. Her passion is for the revelation of God to be made more real through the prophetic use of the arts in church and formational ministry. It is her desire to portray the message of Christ’s desperate and unfailing love for His people to help sustain the hearts of the broken and weary. Life scriptures include Psalm 27; Isaiah 50:4-7; and Zephaniah 3:14-17.