Holding Fast as Prayer

Be very careful to keep the commandment and the law that Moses the servant of the LORD gave you: to love the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, to obey his commands, to hold fast to him and to serve him with all your heart and all your soul.
Joshua 22:5

Prayer is sometimes holding on to God. Holding fast is something that infants do when they catch your finger in their little hand and hang on tightly. The image of an infant grasping the finger of a loving adult is a helpful way for us to think of the prayer of holding fast. In the daily uncertainties of life and in times of great difficulty, we can hold on to God. When we see ourselves acting in ways that are self-serving, when we are prideful or defensive,we can return to the humility and surrender of being a small child, holding on to God.

When we are uncertain or afraid holding fast to God helps us remember that we are not alone. When we are faced with our powerlessness, our selfishness, our pride or our attempts to control what we cannot control holding fast helps us remember that there is a Power greater than ourselves. Holding fast helps us remember who we are as God’s loved child.

The image of an infant hanging on to a loving parent’s finger is greatly enriched by the fact that while the baby holds on, the baby is being securely held. The one who holds on is being held. Held securely. If the infant does not feel secure in the arms of the adult, she would be grasping and clinging in desperate ways Sometimes we may feel like a child who thinks she is about to be dropped. We grasp and cling to God out of fear that we will be abandoned or rejected. Our reaction may be shaped by memories of feeling insecure as a child with inattentive adult caretakers. We forget that God is not like those wounded and distracted humans. We forget that we are secure in God’s arms.

The context for this call to hold fast to God, is the context of love. We are able to ‘hold’ fast to God because God has always been holding us securely.

God whispers to us, “I love you. Let’s live in loving relationship. I will show you how. I will hold you while you hold fast to me.”

In order to wrap our child-like fingers around one of God’s fingers, we will need to open our closed fists and let go of all the things to which we normally cling. We will need to let go of all that we grasp at in an attempt to feel secure. We will need instead to learn to hold fast to the one reality that is our true security–the Love of God which calls to our hearts and souls. This letting go in order to hold on to God is at the heart of our healing. Letting go so we can hold fast sets us free.

You invite me to hold on to you.
All the time you are
holding on to me.
Thank you for holding me,
and loving me through all of life.
Give me the daily grace to let go
of all the false securities to which I cling.
Give me the freedom that comes
from holding fast to your Love.

Prayer suggestion:

In a time of quiet, picture yourself as an infant, held securely in God’s loving arms, holding fast to God.