Psalm 141:2 – May my prayer be set before you like incense; may the lifting up of my hands be like the evening sacrifice. (NIV)
The open palm of the hand is generally understood as an indication of trust and surrender. It shows peaceful acceptance and acquiescence. In the Christian world, a raised, open palm is also a sign of adoration and praise to God. Its relaxed position is proof positive that there is no grasping or clutching. My mental image of holding my open palm upraised toward God when I pray is that of totally relinquishing my claim of self-will.
When I am facing a problem or making a decision, I often — both physically and mentally — hold up my open, upraised palm to God, giving Him complete control of the situation. I then say to God, "Here I am. Do whatever You choose with me (or my problem or my decision)." It is my testimony to Him that I am trusting Him to work out whatever I am facing.
What a difference that mental image makes to me! It means that I am not clenching my fist and shaking it in anger or frustration. I am not impetuously grabbing on to whatever solution is closest at hand nor frantically holding on to what I would like to have happen. I am not clutching the things that I hold dear, refusing to relinquish them. I am not stretching out my hand toward something beyond my reach, nor am I trying to steer the wheel in the direction that I would like it to go. I am not pointing my finger at whomever or whatever I would like to blame, nor am I shaking it in criticism. I am not balling up my fist in defiance or rebellion toward God. I am not pushing something aside that I don't like, nor am I pulling toward me something that is resistant. No, I am simply maintaining a posture of rest as I allow God to move into place all the necessary pieces in the chess game of my life.
Furthermore, on the flip side of this mental image, I can envision myself being held safely and securely in the hollow of God's hand. He is firmly holding on to me, and no danger can reach me without first coming through His hand. Best of all, I can envision my name inscribed on His nail-scarred hands, as is written in Scripture:
Isaiah 49:16a – See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands. (NIV)
How blessed we are to be able to entrust ourselves fully into our Father's care, knowing that He will guide and care for us to the end of our life's journey!
Prayer: Dear Father in heaven, thank You that You love and care for us each moment. Help us to trust You fully and relinquish our fears and daily concerns. You are our shield, protector, and guide. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.
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Listen while you read: "Jesus Where'er Thy People Meet" (Lyrics)