“In every place the men shall offer prayers with blameless hands held aloft.” —1 Timothy 2:8
“Hear the sound of my pleading, when I cry to You, lifting up my hands toward Your holy shrine.” —Psalm 28:2
When a police officer arrests someone, he or she often commands the suspect to put their hands up. Uplifted hands are a sign of surrender. In our relationship with God, uplifted hands likewise are a sign of surrender. Humble surrender is the perfect posture before God for prayer and petition (Ps 141:2; 2 Mc 3:20).
At Mass, the priest often raises his hands during prayers. In addition to surrender, the raised hands recall Moses’ posture of power and victory at prayer during an important battle. “As long as Moses kept his hands raised up, Israel had the better of the fight, but when he let his hands rest,” the enemy “had the better of the fight” (Ex 17:11).
Upraised hands are a posture of praise and of receiving God’s blessings (see Neh 8:6). They are also a way of expressing obedient submission to the Lord (Ps 119:48).
In the greatest example of surrender, prayer, praise, and power, Jesus lifted up His hands in surrender to His Father’s will and allowed them to be nailed to the cross. As St. Teresa of Avila said, Jesus has no hands but ours. So put your hands in the nail-scarred, uplifted hands of Jesus. Let Him lift up your hands now, and one day He will lift up your body and soul to eternal glory (Jn 6:39).
PRAYER: Jesus, I offer You my hands and my entire body as weapons for righteousness (Rm 6:13).
PROMISE: “In Him my heart trusts, and I find help.” —Ps 28:7
PRAISE: St. Cornelius, with the help of St. Cyprian, fought against schism.