I have been reading The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson over the past few days. I came across a section that talked about a prayer exercise done by the Quakers that caught my attention that I want to share with you.
We begin with hands facing down, symbolizing the things we need to let go of. It involves a process of confessing our sins, rebuking our fears, and relinquishing control. Then we turn our hands over so they are facing up in a posture of receptivity. We actively receive what God wants to give – joy unspeakable, peace that transcends understanding, and unmerited grace. We receive the fruit and gifts of His Spirit with open hands and open hearts.
What caught my attention was not the exercise in itself, it was what the exercise symbolized. God began to stir in me this thought, “You want to receive before you surrender. You can’t receive what I have for you when your hands are already full with the things you need to let go.”
So many times I want to receive peace but I won’t let go of fear. I want to trust, but the chance of failure robs me of walking on water as my white knuckled grip welds me to the side of the boat. I want to receive His direction, but my eyes are often set on my plans instead. I ask God to help me carry the load, only my need for control keeps me from relinquishing it. I want God’s blessing, but I let the sin in my life embezzle that gift.
Do you see the problem?
If we allow the dust to settle in our lives, we begin to see that we are the one’s standing in the way of receiving God’s blessings, provision, grace and mercy.
So what do we do? I guess that’s up for us to decide.
We could drop what’s keeping us from receiving what God has for us, or I guess we could just keep our hands full.
If you don’t know what’s in your hands, then take a look at what keeps you anxious, stressed out, living in fear and depressed. What is robing your joy? What are the sins that have turned your heart calloused? Once you identify what those things are -pray…pray and ask Holy Spirit to give you the strength to open your hands and let those things go. Confess to God what those sins are and then receive His forgiveness. Then position yourself to receive what He has in store for you!
So here’s what I’ve learned through it all: Leave all your cares and anxieties at the feet of the Lord, and measureless grace will strengthen you. Psalms 55:22