Today’s suggested helpful tool for practicing the spiritual discipline of prayers is one that I have used often. It may seem strange and irrelevant at first, but it is helpful.
Start by sitting in a straight chair – feet flat, shoulders square, back nice and straight. Begin with your palms facing down and resting on your thighs. With your palms down you use it as an opportunity to confess [think of it as rejecting and disowning] all the things that are not good or that you are struggling with in life.
For example, ‘God, I’ve been really struggling with pride lately.’ But don’t talk in general terms, make it specific, ‘I’ve been proud about how good a cook I am and it is making me critical of everyone else.’ [whatever it is that might be your struggle].
After spending time confessing and rejecting, turn your palms up. Leave the still resting on your thighs. Now adopt an attitude of receiving. For example, ‘God help me to love everyone no matter their failings.’ Begin asking God to change and help especially as it relates to the areas in which you confessed.
Now, I don’t think that they way you sit and they way you hold your hands is going to make any difference to the effectiveness of your prayer [we may get a chance to talk about this later in the week], but I do think it can make a difference to our approach and the focus of our prayers. So, using this suggestion can be helpful in using prayer as a spiritual discipline tool.