I used to think spending time with Trinity meant strictly doing things like reading my Bible and journaling my prayers. But now I know being with Father, Son, and Holy Spirit has more to do with experiencing His presence and having my mind changed—even about the ways I can engage with Him.
Springboarding off of Bob Goff’s Love Does, my ideas about how to engage with an invisible and inaudible God (at least for me anyway) are changed again.
The ever-enthusiastic lawyer extraordinaire, Bob Goff, describes a tactic he gives his clients when they are asked to take the stand: palms up. He explains how it’s near impossible to be defensive and inconsistent about details when the palms of your hands are faced upward. He says, “Something about the hardwiring of how God designed each of us linked the position of our bodies with the position of our hearts.”
What a wonderful thought! How many distinct ways can our bodies engage with our souls in His Presence? With our physical beings, here are some ways to explore meditative prayer postures with the movement of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Adore the Lord by kneeling. In Hebrew, the word “praise” has several different translations with one including the word “BARAK” which means “to kneel down, to bless God as an act of adoration, to salute.” King David once gathered the people of Israel together and led them to all bow to their Lord and High King: “‘Now bless (barak) the Lord your God.’ And all the assembly blessed (barak) the Lord, the God of their fathers, and bowed low and did homage to the Lord and to the king” (1 Chronicles 29:20). Every time we bow in His Presence, we remind our bodies and souls of our allegiance to a good King.
Living in a democracy, we aren’t exposed in everyday life to the practice of kneeling in reverence. Nevertheless, the psalmist invites us, “to worship, to bow low, and kneel (barak) before the Lord our maker” (Psalm 95:6). And if you thought kneeling is only something to do in an assembly, consider the psalmist who challenges us to “bless (barak) the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth” (Psalm 34:1).
Extend your hands. Yep. Extend those hands, in any which direction you please. YADAH is another hidden gem in the word “praise.” It means “the extended hand, to throw out the hand, therefore to worship with extended hand, to lift the hands.” It’s a posture of thanksgiving; “Give thanks (yadah) to the Lord, for His lovingkindness is everlasting” (2 Chronicles 20:21). Maybe the next time you recall “His wonderful works” you could simultaneously lift up your thanks with your hands (Psalm 107:15).
3. PALMS UP
Bob Goff wasn’t pulling this trick out of a hat. It’s actually described in Hebrew as “TOWDAH.” Towdah literally means, “an extension of the hand in adoration, avowal, or acceptance.” Consider sitting and resting your hands palms up in a position of making a vow of adoration or acceptance unto the Lord. Lifting our palms up is just another way of offering ourselves to Him, and this gives the Lord so much pleasure (Psalm 50:24).
4. CLAP AND SHOUT
Have you ever started a slow clap in a crowd of people? Let me tell you, it’s awesome. For real, you should try it sometime. Now imagine starting a slow clap alone in your room and knowing all of heaven and the saints are clapping with you. Isaiah commanded the people of Israel to “cry aloud and shout (shabach) for joy, O inhabitants of Zion, for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel” (Isaiah 12:6). The SHABACH praise means, “to shout, to address in a loud tone, to command, to triumph,” and the psalmist shows us how: “O clap your hands, all peoples; shout (shabach) to God with the voice of joy and triumph” (Psalm 47:1). This is a turn-up prayer posture that tells your spirit to partake of Christ’s triumph over death, and it’s POWERFUL when practiced alone or in a group.
5. LAY DOWN
Lay down on your face on the ground or try child’s pose. Physically connecting ourselves to a low place in humility reminds us of our dependence and reverence to our God. Our father of the faith, Abram lied prostrate before God when he talked with God (Genesis 17:3). In Exodus, “all the people of God prostrated themselves, every man in his tent door. And Jehovah spoke” (Exodus 33:10). Laying down in His presence evokes a different experience of rest in Him.
Lay and soak in a bathtub. This one’s a personal favorite because it is the single most rejuvenating way to pass time with the Lord. Graham Cooke has incredible meditative encouragements that are perfect for putting on a hot bath and literally soaking in the Presence. Colossians 2:12 says, “having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through your faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead.” Imagine praying with the Lord about letting go of your old nature and washing off your body, both physically and spiritually. It also doesn’t hurt to practice being naked and unashamed before your Maker.
Massage your hands the next time you pray over something that has caused anxiety or worry in your life. Paul once expressed his desire for Timothy’s followers: “I want the men in every place to pray, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and dissension” (1 Timothy 2:8). Oftentimes our bodies are manifesting internal realities, and hand tightness is one such manifestation. Massaging your hands while contending for spiritual victory for someone else or yourself reminds you of the work the Lord’s doing that we’re simply partnering in bringing to the earth. Watch this video for simple hand massage techniques.
There have been innumerable moments in my life when I’ve been in a funk, not knowing the cause, and Holy Spirit has asked me to dance. Whatever cloud overhead oftentimes lifts when I submit my body in a physical prayer or even just goofy dancing to music that gives me joy.
Most of the folks I’ve encountered have a hard time with this one, feeling self-conscious and embarrassed to move. However, the humility of physicality makes dance the PERFECT expression for another praise expression—HALLAL. Hallal is a primary Hebrew root word for praise. Our word “hallelujah” comes from this base word. It means “to be clear, to praise, to shine, to boast, show, to rave, celebrate, to be clamorously foolish.” So our foolish dancing is actually a prescribed way that God desires us to be in His presence. The psalmist directs: “let them praise (hallal) His name in the dance” (Psalm 149:3). If you feel foolish dancing, GREAT! You’re in the perfect posture to encounter God.
As you lean into new postures with Him, it’s refreshing to remember His posture towards you is always excitement: “But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him” (Luke 15:20).
I hope you feel empowered to explore His glorious Presence with your full self—body, mind, and soul. Give one of these postures a try and comment below with your experience!
Goff, Bob. Love Does.
“SEVEN HEBREW WORDS FOR PRAISE,” https://www.aglow.org/images/leaderDev/seven-praise-words.pdf
“Favor of the Lord: A Prophetic Soaking Experience,” https://youtu.be/rHob8vPAGVI
“Self Hand Massage,” https://youtu.be/6wUWDlfSQN8
Featured Photo by Brooke Cagle