Just a few hours ago, I was able to pray with a group of adults leaving for Tapachula, Mexico. This team is headed down to spend a week at Mission on the Move‘s boys home run by our missionary friends, Steve and Hope Shearouse. I was waiting with them as they said their good-byes to their family and friends and packed up last minute stuff. There, I had a conversation with Marge Reichmann.
Marge is going on this trip to Tapachula. She shared with a few of us standing there that when praying in a group circle she always prays with one hand up and one hand down. She said that she was taught that as you head into prayer, you should open one hand and hold it up in an act of submission. This also places you in a receiving mode. It’s only in a receiving mode that we can be filled up. And we must be filled up in order to share. Then as you turn your other hand over and reach for the person next to you, you are signalling your desire to pour out into others.
This Sunday in FaithWorks!, as we continue to unpack Philippians 2:5-11, we will pause and explore Jesus’ humility. The children will be looking at the story of Him washing the disciples’ feet. But it goes beyond that act. Jesus illustrates a one hand up, one hand down life of humility. We see him constantly seeking time for prayer: to spend quality time with God in order to get filled up and ready for the next thing on his agenda. He needed that.
And so do we.
I’ll be teaching this one hand up, one hand down prayer style to the elementary children this weekend. As we gather in a big circle to pray, we will each lift one palm up, opening it up to what God has to say to us, and then reach out to the person next to us with a hand palm down, willing to share. We will be receiving and giving. From God and to each other. It is something you can do at home together. I hope it is a visual, a physical act, a reminder, that helps them remember to always seek God. And I don’t just mean seek God first…but to always seek God.
There’s a difference.