Frequently we see pictures of “praying hands,” hands with their palms pressed together, wrist towards the chest and fingers pointed upward. But what does this really mean?
As a child I was taught to bow my head and pray in this way. However, I find that I rarely use this gesture as an adult. No particular reason, just stopped. Primarily because I frequently hold the hand of others when praying. During quiet times and in worship I might spread my hands and lift them in praise.
Recently, however, I was drawn to revisit my childhood position in prayer…pressing my palms together and lifting them towards heaven. A certain calm and peace came over me as I felt the presence of the Lord. This brief experience drew me to read about the meaning of the “praying hands.”
Below are some interesting things I discovered…
- Individuals from various religions across the world use this prayer gestureSome see it as a symbol of fidelity and loyalty
- It is believed that Jesus himself prayed with his hands together
- It is believed that this prayer gesture is a symbol of obedience, submission, sincerity and repentance.
- Some cultures greet one another using this gesture, which signifies, “I bow to the divinity within you from the divinity within me”
- Some use this gesture as a “centering” activity that brings the two hemisphere’s of our brain together.
WOW! So much wrapped up in this simple gesture. For physical reasons (arthritis, amputations, birth defects, etc.), some may not be able to place their palms against one another. But may we all consider the power of bringing the “hands of our heart” together, bowing before our Lord in obedience, submission, sincerity and repentance. May we recognize the “divinity” within ourselves and others as we interact. May we take time to become centered, calm and focused. May we, through prayer, grace and faith, seek to be honest and loyal.
“Hear our prayer oh Lord, incline thine ear to us and grant us thy peace.”
To read more about the symbolism of praying hands, visit, http://www.stjosephsite.com/SJS_Articles_prayinghands.htm
Until next week,
In Faith, Hope and Perseverance,