1 Timothy 2:8

I desire therefore that men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.
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Augustine of Hippo

AD 430
He must be quite cognizant, certain and confident of his own innocence who stretches out and extends his hands to God. Hence the apostle says, “I wish then that men pray everywhere, lifting up pure hands.” He rightly lifts his hands to God, he pours forth prayers with a good conscience, who can say, “You know, O Lord, how holy, how innocent, how pure from every fraud, injury and plunder are the hands which I lift up to you; how unstained and free from all deceit are the lips with which I pour forth prayers to you so that you may have pity on me.” Such a person deserves to be heard quickly and can obtain what he asks even before he has finished his prayer.

Basil the Great

AD 379
Certainly, the Lord gives the authority for praying in every place, in the words: “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father.” And the words of the apostle are legitimate, because the word every does not include places designated for human usage or for unclean or shameful human deeds, but it does take in the regions from the confines of Jerusalem to every place in the world duly appointed, in conformity with the prophecy of sacrifice, that is, consecrated to God, for the celebration of the glorious mystery. .

George Leo Haydock

AD 1849
How beautifully does St. Paul teach that modesty and chastity are the greatest ornaments of the female sex, not only in the sight of God and of Angels, but also of men, who although by their own neglect they have not always grace and courage sufficient to be virtuous themselves, cannot help admiring virtue wherever they see it in others. Even the pagan fully acknowledges the native attractions of virtue. Virtus per se placet: Virtue pleases with unborrowed charms.
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AD 420
Whenever we lift up pure hands in prayer, without diverting distractions or contention, we are playing to the Lord with a tenstringed instrument. We play, as the psalmist wrote, “with tenstringed instrument and lyre, with melody upon the harp.” Our body and soul and spirit —our harp—are all in harmony, all their strings in tune.
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John Cassian

AD 435
Whatever the mind has been thinking about before it prays will certainly come to it while it is praying. Therefore, before we begin to pray, we ought to be trying to be the kind of people whom we wish God to find when we pray. The mind is conditioned by its recent state. In prayer, the mind remembers recent acts or thoughts and experiences, sees them dancing before it like ghosts. And this annoys us, or depresses us, or reminds us of past lust or past worry, or makes us (I am ashamed to say) laugh like fools at some absurdity or circumstance, or go over again some recent conversation. Whatever we do not want to creep into our time of prayer, we must try to keep out of the heart when we are not praying. St. Paul’s words were, “Pray without ceasing,” and “In every place lifting up pure hands without wrath or controversy.” To obey this is impossible, unless the mind is purified from sin, is given to virtue as its natural good and is continually nourished by the contemplation of God. .

John Chrysostom

AD 407
When you pray, says Christ, you shall not be as the hypocrites are; for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, they have their reward. But you, when you pray, enter into your closet, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father, which is in secret; and your Father, which sees in secret, shall reward you openly. Matthew 6:5-6 What then says Paul? I will therefore that men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting. This is not contrary to the other, God forbid, but quite in harmony with it. But how, and in what way? We must first consider what means, enter into your closet, and why Christ commands this, if we are to pray in every place? Or whether we may not pray in the church, nor in any other part of the house, but the closet? What then means that saying? Christ is recommending us to avoid ostentation, when He bids us offer our prayers not only privately, but ...
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John Chrysostom

AD 407
The object of Paul is to distinguish the Christian from the Jewish prayers. Therefore observe what he says, “In every place lifting up holy hands,” this being something which was not permitted the Jews, for they were not allowed to approach God, to sacrifice and perform their services elsewhere. Rather, assembling from all parts of the world in one place, they were bound to perform all their worship in the temple…. Henceforth the consideration is not of the place but of the manner of the prayer. “Pray everywhere,” but, “everywhere lift up holy hands.” That is the thing required. And what is “holy”? Pure. And what is pure? Not washed with water, but free from covetousness, murder, rapacity, violence, “without wrath and doubting.”

Maximus of Turin

AD 423
But the good farmer also, when he prepares to turn the soil in order to plant lifesustaining foods, undertakes to do this by nothing other than the sign of the cross. For when he sets the share beam on the plough, attaches the earthboard and puts on the plowhandle, he imitates the form of the cross, for its very construction is a kind of likeness of the Lord’s suffering. Heaven, too, is itself arranged in the form of this sign, for since it is divided into four parts— namely, east, west, south, and north—it consists in four quarters like the cross. Even a person’s bearing, when he raises his hands, describes a cross; therefore we are ordered to pray with uplifted hands so that by the very stance of our body we might confess the Lord’s suffering.

Tertullian of Carthage

AD 220
But what reason is there in going to prayer with hands indeed washed, but the spirit has become fouled?—inasmuch as to our hands themselves spiritual cleansing is necessary, that they may be “lifted up pure” from falsehood, from murder, from cruelty, from poisonings, from idolatry and all the other blemishes which, conceived by the spirit, are effected by the operation of the hands.
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Tertullian of Carthage

AD 220
To produce, by means of "holy hands". But what reason is there in going to prayer with hands indeed washed, but the spirit foul?-inasmuch as to our hands themselves spiritual purities are necessary, that they may be "lifted up pure". of prayer nothing at all has been prescribed, except clearly "to pray at every time and every place."
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The Apostolic Constitutions

AD 375
Then Simon, enraged that he was not able to tell the secret of the apostle, cried out, saying: Let great dogs come forth, and eat him up before Caesar. And suddenly there appeared great dogs, and rushed at Peter. But Peter, stretching forth his hands
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Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation - 2 Peter 1:20

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