Through out my journey I have heard many different thoughts concerning the positive results of prayer. Many of these thoughts are great but I have come to realize that it is not the outcomes that prayer produces that should be my focus, but instead the emotional and spiritual posture that I take that leads me becoming open to the “New Things” that God would desire to give to me. It all begins with me understanding that I do not control nor should I be obsessed with controlling outcomes. Think about it! When I am filled with anxiety and I pray with a clenched fist petitioning God that I demand he gives me the outcome that I desire it is very similar to my three year old grandson demanding that I give him the car keys to drive. Prayer is the one place that the the tyranny of the immediate fully surrenders to the hope of that which is eternal. Prayer is the place that as a finite human being who has the gift of limitations, I surrender my outcomes to an infinite God who loves me and truly from His perspective knows what is best for me. Today, reflect on this prayer written by Henri Nouwen, and consider praying with “Open Hands!” Letting go- what you may think is good in order that you can receive that which only God who unconditionally loves you – can give to you.
I am so afraid to open my clenched fists!
Who will I be when I have nothing left to hold on to?
Who will I be when I stand before you with empty hands?
Please help me to gradually open my hands
and to discover that I am not what I own,
but what you want to give me.”
― Henri J.M. Nouwen, The Only Necessary Thing: Living a Prayerful Life