EMBODIED :: Postures of Prayer & Praise, Week 7, Hands Clapping

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Postures of Prayer & Praise are
“outer representations of an inner reality”

Exploring: Hands Clapping – Restoration & Victory

Psalm 47:1-3 – Oh, clap your hands, all you peoples! Shout to God with the voice of triumph! For the Lord Most High is awesome; He is a great King over all the earth. He will subdue the peoples under us, and the nations under our feet.

Christ the King is our victory. As we shout praises and clap our hands, he stands up against injustice and rights the wrongs in our lives. Let us use a voice of triumph — one that speaks truth, victory, restoration and freedom — even in places of our lives that do not appear victorious. God is in control. Christ is on His throne.

Jeremiah 31 –  4 I will build you up again and you will be rebuilt, O Virgin Israel. Again you will take up your tambourines and go out to dance with the joyful. … 12 They will come and shout for joy on the heights of Zion; they will rejoice in the bounty of the LORD… 13 Then maidens will dance and be glad, young men and old as well. I will turn their mourning into gladness; I will give them comfort and joy instead of sorrow.

As God redeems, rebuilds, and restores all the broken and wounded places in our lives, we will take up our tambourines, our instruments of praise, in order to dance with joyful celebration. He promises joy for our sorrow.

Putting It Into Practice

Praise.png

Jesus came as our Restorer and Redeemer. Take some time remembering all he has done for you. Also think about the answers to prayer you are still in need of. Sometimes clapping in victory before we are actually victorious can bring about the change in the spiritual climate we need to have our prayers answered. In every situation, we clap and celebrate his goodness!!

You can clap your hands anytime, anywhere and any way you’d like (well, except maybe in a library, but you get my point). If you’d like you can clap along with today’s worship song and clap your hands, all ye people, as we celebrate his resurrection power! Continue reading

7 :: “Into your hands…”

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“7” Last Statements of Jesus
Spoken from the Cross: Week 7

Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When he had said this, he breathed his last. Luke 23:46

 

M Durbin 2010 Into Your Hands

Matt Durbin (c) 2010

Enough

Here I am, my son.

Your struggle is over.

It was near impossible

to keep from turning

toward your cries.

I felt each lash,

wailed as they

drove the nails.

I blacked out the sun

so as not to see

your suffering.

Come to me now,

let me bandage

your wounds. Drink

from the spring

and rinse clean, rinse

until the water

runs clear. This part

of the journey

is finished. Continue reading

EMBODIED :: Postures of Prayer & Praise, Week 6, Hands Flat

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Postures of Prayer & Praise are
“outer representations of an inner reality”

Exploring: Bowing Low, Prostrate with Hands Flat – Submitting

I Chronicles 29:20 – Then David said to the whole assembly, “Praise the LORD your God.” So they all praised the LORD, the God of their fathers; they bowed low and fell prostrate before the LORD and the king.

I Kings 18:38-39 – (Elijah) Then the fire of the LORD fell and burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones and the soil, and also licked up the water in the trench. When all the people saw this, they fell prostrate and cried, “The LORD – he is God! The LORD – he is God!”

As we worship, we recognize His holiness (and our unworthiness) and we bow low before a God who is worthy to be honored. In the Ancient Near East, a  vassal treaty was a treaty between two kings – one more powerful than the other. The lesser king presented himself as a vassal by bowing low before the more powerful king.  To prostrate oneself before another is an act of worship, and the vassal treaty is the picture of worship the Israelites would picture in their minds when they worshiped Yahweh. The Hebrew word is hishtacheveh, which relates to Greek word (proskuneo) that means kissing toward. But it is not an upward intimate kiss toward God, but a kissing the dirt or feet of God. The theological meaning is that God is the more powerful king and we are the less powerful king.

Psalm 95:6-7 – Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker; for he is our God and we are the people of his pasture, the flock under his care.

As we bow down in worship before God, we come under his care. We are his people. He watches over us as a shepherd watches over his sheep, not letting a single one fall away. Continue reading

EMBODIED :: Postures of Prayer & Praise, Week 5, Hands to Heart

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Postures of Prayer & Praise are
“outer representations of an inner reality”

Exploring: Hands to Heart – Pondering/Treasuring

Job 23:12b – I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my daily bread.

Luke 2:16-20 – Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.

Treasuring and pondering means taking time to remember all God has done in your life, to consider what He has planned for your life, to look at those gifts/talents that are uniquely yours to do that which God has uniquely designed you for. It is being still and quiet before the Lord. 

Putting It Into Practice

This posture can be done standing, seated or kneeling. Psalm 46:10 says: “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” As you bring bring your hands to your heart in a posture of stillness and prayer, take a moment to ask, “How is God exalted in my life?” As you explore this beautiful posture of prayer, ask God to make your heart His home. Take time to ponder and treasure all that he has done in your life. Continue reading

EMBODIED :: Postures of Prayer & Praise, Week 4, Hands Together

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Postures of Prayer & Praise are
“outer representations of an inner reality”

Exploring: Hands Together – Prayer

Philippians 4:6 – Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

Colossians 4:2 – Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.

When we are anxious, our hands are wringing, but notice the attitudes of thankfulness and watchfulness that are to accompany our prayers. It’s not about what He can give us, but acknowledging and being thankful for what He has already given us and being watchful to see how He will answer our prayers, sometimes in ways we don’t expect.

Putting It Into Practice

Palms together or folded/clasped together is a posture we typically think of when we think of a posture of prayer. This posture has been used by many religions as a posture of prayer, and there are some that even postulate that Jesus learned this prayer posture from Buddhist monks during his time as a young child in Egypt.

Palms together

This posture can be done standing, sitting or kneeling. With palms together, thumbs can come to your heart or your forehead. As you can see in this photo, my friend Amy is both kneeling and has prayer hands at her forehead. Continue reading

7 :: “My God, my God, why…?”

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“7” Last Statements of Jesus
Spoken from the Cross: Week 4

“Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which means “My God, my God, why have you abandoned (forsaken) me?”   Mark 15:34

M Durbin 2010 My God

Matt Durbin (c) 2010

Fear

I taste the juice of forbidden fruit

dripping from Adam’s mouth.

And in my hand, the dagger

that killed Cain’s brother. My arms

are sore from building Babel.

Abraham’s fear rolls in my gut.

I cling to Sodom as it burns, connive

for the birthright at Isaac’s bedside,

stand by as my sons slaughter a city,

hear the roar of weeping women Continue reading

EMBODIED :: Postures of Prayer & Praise, Week 3, Palms Up

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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 

Palms upThis 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. Continue reading