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“Cast your burden on the LORD,
and he will sustain you.”

Psalm 55:22 (David)

How is your day looking for you? Are you feeling stressed by problems you are facing? Maybe a difficult person you will have to see? Weighed down by the latest news of the world? Like the shepherd boy David, you mi9ht be facing your “giant” and needing the Lord’s help.

It is because of my own daily giants and problems that I am drawn to a way of praying that I learned from Richard Foster, founder of Renovare, in his classic Celebration of Discipline. This way of praying helps me to put problems into God’s hands and to draw upon His blessing. Foster calls this Quaker way of praying PALMS DOWN/PALMS UP. Here is how you can do it:

PALMS DOWN – Begin by turning the PALMS of your hands DOWN to express your desire to God to let go into His hands the pressures, worries, burden weighing on you. Inwardly you might pray: “Lord, I now let go to you my anger toward John.  I release to you my fears about my doctor’s appointment. I surrender to you my anxiety about running low on money.  I hand over to you my frustration at not finding a baby sitter.” Whatever is burdening you, weighing on you, you let go into God’s hands. 

PALMS UP – After taking time to let go into God’s hands, turn the PALMS of your hands UP, telling God your desire to now receive from Him. You can pray something like, “Lord, I now receive Your love for John. I receive Your reassurance about my doctor’s appointment….” As you give yourself time to release to God with PALMS DOWN, take time to receive from your heavenly Father with PALMS UP. The psalmist David, says it so well in today’s scripture: “Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you. The apostle Peter put it like this: “Cast all your anxiety on God, because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7).

Now, take some time simply to be with God and to be still before Him. Take some moments to let God pour His love into You, hearing the Spirit of God say to you: “Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10).

I find that I can pray PALMS DOWN/PALMS UP just about anywhere at any time. It works for me in the hospital waiting room, the conference table, park bench, or in bed at 2 a.m. I think that you too can find PALMS DOWN/PALMS UP makes a positive difference in your life!

A fellow traveler,

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