Psalm 63 (Psalms on the Trail)

Psalm 63

Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you.

So I will bless you as long as I live;

I will lift up my hands and call on your name.  Psalm 63:3-4

My body matters, and I believe it wants to be included in my prayers with God. When I “wait in silence” (see previous post.), I sit erect, feet on the floor, relaxed but attentive. That’s one position my body can take in prayer. There are also references in the Psalms to bowing down or kneeling.  In addition the “lifting up of hands” is mentioned in the verses above.  So if my body were to “lift its hands,” what specifically does that imply about my conversation with God?

Perhaps lifting of hands is a visible expression of holding in my hands all the prayers and petitions on my mind and offering them to God.  Perhaps the lifting up of my hands could be the physical expression of my desire to receive from God the things that I need.  I am also reminded of the toddler reaching up her arms to the parent, hands opening and closing in anticipation of being held.  Any of these might fit my prayer on any given day. But this week the “lifting up of hands” seems a perfect prayer gesture for “Why me, God?” “God, you called me to do what??” “And where exactly do you want me to go, God???”  It is with those questions that the gesture of lifting up my hands, done with fingers spread and a little oomph, seems so fitting today.

So how is your body wanting to pray with you today?

Suggestions:

1. Take this verse with you and ponder its meaning for you throughout the day.  What do you notice?  What do you wonder?  Let your body join you in prayer today with some gesture or movement.

2. Or read all of Psalm 63 to discover how this verse fits into the psalm or to discover a different verse.

3. Or comment with a photo of your own that illustrates this verse’s meaning for you.

Tomorrow’s verse is from Psalm 64:6.

Starting January 1, 2016, for 150 days I am posting a daily psalm verse with a photo that is a visual meditation on the text for me.  Each day a verse from the next psalm is chosen until all 150 psalms have been featured.   To participate you may subscribe to my blog at http://elainedent.net or “friend” me on Facebook and watch for the daily links to blog posts.  Disclaimer:  I am not a photographer and most of the photos are from a cell phone or small camera while hiking the Appalachian Trail or the C&O Canal/Great Allegheny Passage Trail.

Comments

  1. Very conscious of prayer and body after having led a 6 day silent retreat. Thank for this

  2. A group of us gather for Eucharist on a beach in Tonga, on a small island which is the ancestral home of one of us; and which is already being wrecked due to rising ocean levels caused by global warming.