It’s hard to grab hold of new things when we’re clinging tightly to the old. Even good things need to be held loosely at times so that we can upgrade to better things.
Hands down, hands up prayer is an exercise in letting go and receiving. As we enter the new year these days between Christmas and New Year’s can be an excellent time for reflection and setting our intention and resolutions for the year to come.
What happy memories do you want to cherish from the past year? What painful memories do you need to grieve? What dreams, hopes, and fears do you have for the new year?
When we think of resolutions thoughts of hitting the gym, starting a diet, or instituting some new habit come to mind. But what if this year instead of focusing on your short comings and the things you have failed at, you handed it all over the Jesus and asked Him what He has for you this year?
He might have some of the same concerns you do about things you need to grow in. But isn’t it so much better to hear His loving voice guiding you in those things instead of the critical voice of self or the enemy?
Hands Down, Hands Up Prayer
Take some time before the New Year and quiet yourself with Jesus.
Start with hands palms down and pray:
Jesus, I let go of anything and everything I have clung to this year.
The good, the bad, all of it.
I hand it over to You and trust You to do with it as You know best.
Spend some time listening to what He tells you or shows you is being dropped. Its ok to mourn the losses and talk to Him about the things you don’t want to let go of.
Then with hands palms up, pray:
Jesus, I receive all that You have for me this year.
Teach me to cling to the things You have for me and let everything else fall away.
What dreams do You have for me to walk in this year?
Spend some time listening again and journal about the things you are letting go, the things you are holding onto, and the things you will take hold of in the New Year.
A Year with Hands Held Open
Throughout the year repeat this prayer exercise to learn to live with hands open, constantly receiving what the Lord has for you and being willing to let go of the things He says you do not need to hold onto.
When you live with hands held open you do not have to walk in the stress of trying to cling to things as they slip away, or the anxiety of trying to grab things that are out of reach. You simply live from a place of receiving all that the Father has for you.
This receiving isn’t passive though. God has appointed each of us with authority to steward whatever he gives us as co-heirs with Christ. Holding hands open still requires us to take the active posture of holding, of engaging what what is happening.
“And since we are his true children, we qualify to share all his treasures, for indeed, we are heirs of God himself. And since we are joined to Christ, we also inherit all that he is and all that he has. We will experience being co-glorified with him provided that we accept his sufferings as our own.” Romans 8:17 (TPT)
When we learn to live in this tension of living open handed but not passive we find immense freedom and power to be released into the destinies God is calling us to. We aren’t just victims of circumstance. We play an active role in bringing heaven to earth and releasing the Kingdom into our own lives and the lives of those around us.