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  #1  
Old Feb 8, '11, 7:48 pm
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Oneofthewomen Oneofthewomen is offline
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Default What do you do with your hands when you pray?

I was taught as a child to clasp my hands together and intertwine my fingers.

A couple of years ago while on retreat and at a time I was really struggling in my prayer life,
I came across a book by Henri Nouwen called With Open Hands, and it really changed how I look at prayer and in turn how I practice prayer.

In a nutshell, what Fr. Nouwen is saying is that prayer is a matter of giving our concerns to God and in return, receiving God's grace.
He goes on to point out, that one can neither give nor receive if one's hands are tightly claspped together, that to truly experience the exchange one's hands need to be open.

Ever since then, I find myself praying with open hands,
ususally cupped together, as I would to receive communion.
This posture as really helped me to "let go" and open up during prayer and to not hold anything back.
I find I have become much more vulnerable before God, giving Him all my cares and worries, and opening myself to receive His grace.
It has been quite an interesting development in my prayer life, and has made a huge impact on my journey thus far.

As anyone else ever had an experience similar?
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  #2  
Old Feb 8, '11, 10:00 pm
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po18guy po18guy is offline
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Default Re: What do you do with your hands when you pray?

Outstretched, with palms facing up. We lift others and their intentions up, just as we lift our hearts to the Lord.
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Old Feb 9, '11, 4:52 am
GloriousOrder GloriousOrder is offline
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Default Re: What do you do with your hands when you pray?

We are not on an equal footing with God. I clasp my hands together as one receiving the blessing of a king or feudal lord. With your hands open and palms facing out, you cannot allow your clenched fists to be consumed in the Lord! Praying with your fingers intertwined in a sort of double-fist shows your willingness to have God's hands encompass and enclose your own. He guides you, and you cannot be guided if you will not close your hands (your will) and give up your immovably clenched palms to His hands (His will).

Excuse me for being overly-symbolic and theological, but there it is!
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Old Feb 9, '11, 5:41 am
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simple soul simple soul is offline
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Default Re: What do you do with your hands when you pray?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oneofthewomen View Post
I was taught as a child to clasp my hands together and intertwine my fingers.

A couple of years ago while on retreat and at a time I was really struggling in my prayer life,
I came across a book by Henri Nouwen called With Open Hands, and it really changed how I look at prayer and in turn how I practice prayer.

In a nutshell, what Fr. Nouwen is saying is that prayer is a matter of giving our concerns to God and in return, receiving God's grace.
He goes on to point out, that one can neither give nor receive if one's hands are tightly claspped together, that to truly experience the exchange one's hands need to be open.

Ever since then, I find myself praying with open hands,
ususally cupped together, as I would to receive communion.
This posture as really helped me to "let go" and open up during prayer and to not hold anything back.
I find I have become much more vulnerable before God, giving Him all my cares and worries, and opening myself to receive His grace.
It has been quite an interesting development in my prayer life, and has made a huge impact on my journey thus far.

As anyone else ever had an experience similar?
I guess it all depends on the reason why I am praying. Sometimes I do clasp my hands. Some times I curl up on the couch and lean against the cushions, imagining that I am leaning into God's comforting and reassuring embrace. A lot of the time I do some of my most intimate praying while I am walking.
But, usually I do stand with my hands either clasped or open. Usually open especially when I pray the Our Father.
The way I see it is God is so much more than a Heavenly Monarch and King. He is also my Father, Brother, and Savior and every time life does bring me to my knees at His feet He always finds a way to reassure me and helps me get back on my feet again.

I do not know if there really is a "set rule." This is just how I pray and if it is wrong someday I am sure God will let me know....

All I do know is I tend to go with the form, that in the moment, keeps my heart, mind, and soul open and focused on only God. Nothing else.
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Old Feb 9, '11, 8:40 am
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Oneofthewomen Oneofthewomen is offline
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Default Re: What do you do with your hands when you pray?

Quote:
Originally Posted by simple soul View Post
I guess it all depends on the reason why I am praying. Sometimes I do clasp my hands. Some times I curl up on the couch and lean against the cushions, imagining that I am leaning into God's comforting and reassuring embrace. A lot of the time I do some of my most intimate praying while I am walking.
But, usually I do stand with my hands either clasped or open. Usually open especially when I pray the Our Father.
The way I see it is God is so much more than a Heavenly Monarch and King. He is also my Father, Brother, and Savior and every time life does bring me to my knees at His feet He always finds a way to reassure me and helps me get back on my feet again.

I do not know if there really is a "set rule." This is just how I pray and if it is wrong someday I am sure God will let me know....

All I do know is I tend to go with the form, that in the moment, keeps my heart, mind, and soul open and focused on only God. Nothing else.

Simple Soul,
This is a beautiful post, and I could not agree more, especially with the highlighted portion-
it took me a very long time to experience God as the loving Father and not as the King who wanted to shout "off with her head!!"
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The most difficult thing I have ever had to do is follow the guidance I prayed for.
-Albert Schweitzer

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