Pray, lifting up holy hands.

 

Saints Cornelius, Pope, and Cyprian, Bishop, Martyrs (Memorial)

 

What’s in your hands?   In order to lift up “holy hands” in prayer, you may need to let go of some of the things you’re holding on to.   Because, let’s face it, when we hold on tightly to some things—whether future expectations, past wounds, current resentments, or strident demands—we find it harder to pray with faith and surrender.

We all know how easy it is to hold on to resentments, especially when we feel justified in our anger or bitterness.   Or how hard it can be to let go of our judgments about another person, especially when we are convinced that we’re right.   Maybe you and your spouse disagree on the best way to raise your child.   You might be praying,   “Lord, help her recognize I’m right,”  instead of being open to working together to find a solution.   You might be angry with God, wondering how he has allowed something bad to happen to you or a loved one.   Like Job, you shake your fist at the Lord, unwilling to abandon yourself to his wise and loving plan.

If you realize you’re holding on to something like this, Jesus is giving you a chance to empty your hands today.

When you sit down to pray and you remember that you’ve been arguing with your spouse or a coworker, make the choice to let it go.   Ask forgiveness.   Then start praying.   If you’ve stormed off after an angry outburst, take a deep breath and try to make things right with the person you’ve hurt.   Remember, when your fists are clenched around anger or self-righteousness, it’s harder to raise your hands to the Lord in prayer.   It’s harder for him to fill you because your hands are already full.

So what’s in your hands?   What are you holding on to that might be keeping you from receiving all the gifts God wants to give you?   If you can identify something, take the next step and try to let it go.   Lift up your hands to God, as empty as you can make them, and watch as he fills them with every good and perfect gift.

“Father, I believe you want to give me good things.   So help me to let go of whatever I’m holding on to that keeps me from you.”

Word Among Us