Central to a theology of resurrection is the conviction that bodies matter; if Jesus life is renewed as an embodied life, which the Church has always taught – even when it is hard to find the words to express such a thing – this is because bodies are central to what it means to be human, and God is concerned with bodies.
It is easy to think of our prayer as somehow being separate from our body. But this cannot be the case, as it is in and as our bodies that we pray. So, for the next few weeks we will be reflecting on – and practising – prayer in our bodies.
Find a position to sit that is comfortable and alert. If possible, ensure that your spine is straight, your head is up, and you are as relaxed as you can be.
Be aware of your arms. Notice whether your shoulders are hunched or relax (relax them as much as you can).
Think about what you have done with your hands today. Give thanks for things achieved, and offer them in service. Ask forgiveness for actions that may have hurt or deprived others.
In Psalm 63, the psalmist writes
O God, you are my God, I seek you,
my soul thirsts for you;
my flesh faints for you,
as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.
2 So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary,
beholding your power and glory.
3 Because your steadfast love is better than life,
my lips will praise you.
4 So I will bless you as long as I live;
I will lift up my hands and call on your name.
5 My soul is satisfied as with a rich feast,[a]
and my mouth praises you with joyful lips
6 when I think of you on my bed,
and meditate on you in the watches of the night;
7 for you have been my help,
and in the shadow of your wings I sing for joy.
8 My soul clings to you;
your right hand upholds me.
Lifting our hands has long been a Jewish and Christian way of pleading with God for change in the world; what prayers of imploring do you want to offer?
We bring our prayers in the confidence of v 8; that the hands of God hold us.