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openSeven Spiritual Practices for Busy People

Last week we looked at the great challenge of keeping our priorities straight in this busy world. We looked at David, “a man after God’s own heart” (Acts 13:22), a true “Renaissance Man” who made spending time with God his number one priority:

One thing I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in his temple” (Psalm 27:4).

The “one thing” above every other thing David pursued was to live daily in God’s presence and beauty. We looked at the first of seven spiritual practices that I have found helpful for living each day in the awareness of God’s presence: Practice One – The Daily God Hunt. The spiritual practice I want to pass on to you today is: Palms Down, Palms Up.

Practice Two: Palms Down, Palms Up

Cast your burden on the Lord,?and he will sustain you.”
Psalm 55:22 (David)

Not unlike King David, we will face “giants” in our lives; almost daily we will have to take on problems far bigger than us. It was in Richard Foster’s book, Celebration of Discipline, that I learned how to better place my problems into God’s hands and experience His presence with me. Foster calls this way of praying, “Palms Down, Palms Up”. Foster describes the steps of praying Palms Down, Palms Up like this:

  1. “Begin by placing your palms down as a symbolic indication of your desire to turn over any concerns you may have to God. Inwardly you may pray, ‘Lord, I give to you my anger toward John. I release my fear of my dentist appointment this morning. I surrender my anxiety over not having enough money to pay the bills this month. I release my frustration over trying to find a baby-sitter for tonight.’ Whatever it is that weighs on your mind or is a concern to you… release it. You may even feel a certain sense of release in your hands.”
  2. “After several moments of surrender, turn you palms up as a symbol of your desire to receive from the Lord. Perhaps you will pray silently, ‘Lord, I would like to receive your divine love for John, your peace about my dentist appointment, your patience, your joy’.”
  3. “Having centered down, spend the remaining moments in complete silence. Do not ask for anything. Allow the Lord to commune with you, to love you.”

Try praying Palms Down, Palms Up for a few days and watch for the difference it can make in your life!

I cast all my cares upon You,
I lay all of my burdens down at Your feet.
And any time I don’t know what to do,
I will cast all my cares upon You.
-Kelly Willard

Grace and peace

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