God made us with a physical body, a soul and a spirit. Sometimes we tend to think of each of these things as separate entities and yet we are created as an integrated whole. This means prayer involves our physical body as well as our soul (mind) and spirit. We will be taking the next couple of weeks to look at ways we use our body in prayer.
Positions in prayer shouldn’t be sterile, routine or a “have to”, but should flow naturally as part of our worship to God. How we position our body can enhance our prayers and give them greater expression and definition. They can be a reflection of what is going on in our hearts.
One unique expression I read about recently is an old Quaker prayer in which you begin your prayer with your hands facing downward in an expression of letting go. What are you hanging on to that you can release to the Lord? It may be letting go of control or confessing a sin or releasing fear. Then turn your hands upward symbolizing receiving what God wants to give you. Is He filling you with joy? Purpose? Gifts? Peace?
Although they are very simple gestures, they help to position our hearts before the Lord in letting go of what hinders us and receive those gifts He wants to share with us.
You might not currently express yourself physically in prayer, but try it! Sometimes changing our posture and positioning can bring a breath of fresh air to our prayer life. Our tendency is to get in ruts of how we always do something. Experiment! Try this Quaker prayer – hands down, hands up. Let go. Receive.