Open Hands and Open Hearts
In his book on Prayer, Richard Foster talks about the prayer of surrender. He explains that we use our hands to symbolize the attitude of our hearts.
When we pray with palms down, we are letting go of the things that keep us from a deep and loving relationship with him. We let go of our sin, unforgiveness, grudges, disobedience, worry, anxiety, anger, bitterness, pride shame and our hard hearts.
When we pray with our palms up, we are telling the Lord we are open and ready to receive whatever he has for us: forgiveness, love, mercy, grace, compassion, strength, guidance, peace. Our hearts are as open as our hands and want them filled with God’s grace and love.
Each day we can do this exercise:
- Palms down - Lord I release to you
- Palms up – Lord I receive from you
It occurred to me that I needed to do that tonight as we move from 2011 to 2012. I need to let go of the past and be open to God’s blessings in the future. So, would you like to pray with me?
Just a reminder:
Palms down means we are emptying our hands, letting go of the things that hindered our relationship with God the year before. WE let go of unforgiveness, hatred, anger, bitterness, grudges, laziness, materialism, lack of compassion.
Palms Up symbolize our willingness to have God fill us with good things. Palms up makes us feel submissive and hopeful as we receive God’s blessings of : forgiveness, comfort, deliverance healing power, love, mercy, compassion, kindness, guidance
Heavenly Father, we thank you for 2011 and the blessings you gave. With Palms down, we surrender to you our own bad attitudes, grudges, unforgiveness, faulty thinking, materialism, regrets, hatred and whatever you point out to us. Our palms down is a symbol tht we are ready to let those thoughts and behavior go – to fall by the wayside and be gone. As we turn our palms up, we have emptied our hands and hearts of thing that we had been clinging to for so long. Now that we have let those things go, we are free to accept the blessings you offer. We open our hearts and hands to your love, comfort, healing, compassion, mercy, kindness and guidance. Let our empty hands symbolize a desire to be filled with your love, mercy and forgiveness.
We ask, Lord that Palms Up/Palms Down will become a regular habit in our relationship with you and that this year our hearts and hands will be more available to you. Fill us Lord.
Palms Down/ Palms Up