Today’s Reading is 2 Chronicles 6:1-17.
It is Solomon’s dedicatory prayer for the temple. For that “he raised his arms in prayer”. He did what? Aren’t you supposed to fold your hands?
Well it all depends. Let’s take a look at some of the most common prayer gestures:
Albrecht Dürer’s Praying Hands represent the catholic tradition. Pointed your hands toward heaven is a prayer in itself and it says: I want to try and become more divine.
Protestants prefer to interlink their fingers. With that they say: God, my hands won’t do any work. During prayer I’ll step back and let you be in charge, because I know you truly are.
Muslims and many others go down on their knees expressing submission: God you are so great and I am so small. Please help me remember that I am dust and please look favorably upon me.
Mormons fold their arms. The basic message is: I know my Heavenly Father loves me so much. I want to feel the comfort of being embraced by him. He holds me and I feel secure.
Now finally raising your hands in Judaism, like Solomon is the attitude of expecting blessings to be poured down from heaven. Dear God, please continue to bless your people!
Is there a right or wrong? Not at all. There are as many appropriate gestures for praying as there are reasons to pray. In a time of hubris you might feel that surrendering power the Protestant way might be a good idea. Being lost and lonely a prayerful hug mormonstyle might feel good. Anything wrong with that? I don’t think so!