How to: Practice Postures of PrayerMar 12, 2021
How are these "Handy Postures of Prayer" practiced?
First and foremost, treat your hands as God designed them - carefully and gently. Created to hold great power and purpose, the relationship between your hands and fingers should be light, loving, and intentional. However, it is not that simple. Ponder for a moment when you are angry or nervous. Do the hands lightly hold these emotions? No, they are rebellious. They clinch and cling to the sticky moments in life. In prayer, they can slip away or tire quickly, again mirroring our emotional and spiritual state. But, mudras offer a transformational opportunity for connection and regeneration.
Celebrate whatever you bring to prayer. If a mudra is hard to hold or even form, honor yourself and do the mudra with one hand while cradling the posture with the other. Visualize God praising your efforts and supporting your hands. With time, tensions dissolve. This change is again representing your interior disposition and the growth therein. Practice anytime, anywhere, and with whatever emotions you bring - in times of joy, anger, sorrow, gratitude, and petition.
To maintain prayerful hands require easeful bodies. Therefore, you can be seated on the floor or in a chair. You can lie down on your back. You can even take your prayerful hands on a walk. Whatever posture brings you ease and closer to God, take time to align your physical self with the moment. These adjustments signal to the body you are preparing for something meaningful and significant. Here are some ideas to prepare yourself, but always listen to your body for a moment to see what it requires of you.
1. Close your eyes and breathe for a moment or two. Don't worry about controlling the breath. Notice it, honor it, be with this creative presence of the Spirit within. Imagine Jesus breathing onto you the gift of the Holy Spirit.
2. Rub your hands together briskly. Begin to slow them to stillness. Perhaps, separate them slightly to feel the heat you've generated - the presence of the energetic Spirit pulsing in you provided to you at Creation. God breathed life into Adam; He breathes into your life.
3. Set your intention for the practice. Spend a moment being grateful in the presence of the Lord. What purpose or petition do you attach to this practice? It could be physical, mental, emotional, spiritual - ask for it now. After asking, say it in the positive as if already granted, three times.
As you enter the prayer, let it be a time of meditative peace. This carved-out space is an open line of communication between you and God. Visualize your hands holding the receiver end of an old phone. God is the stable, never-yielding attachment to the wall. Your breath becomes the cord between the two of you. The words or affirmations spoken while holding the mudra become the opening lines of communication. Speak from your heart in declaration, prayer, petition, or silence. Then, listen. Take time here.
Allow the focus to come to your hands. Observe the breath line between you and God. Inhale, His presence seeps in through the hands as if receiving much-desired water. Exhale, your needs release from your grip and enter God's awaiting hands. It is an exchange nourishing both you and our Blessed Lord.
When it is time to end, never do so abruptly. As you would lovingly end a conversation with a friend, take the time to do so here. Begin to deepen the breath for a couple of rounds. Rub your hands briskly or shake them out. Stretch into your body—bow in gratitude for the time you have shared with the Lord. Say Amen, and know the conversation is not over here - God remains with you always. You can return to this level of in-depth communication whenever you want—your hands in His await.