The traditional posture of early Christian prayer involved one standing with the arms raised and extended like the letter "Y" with the palms uplifted. In the early church the entire congregation prayed in this position. Today, except among charismatics, it is usually only the presider who uses the orans position for prayer. The position is frequently modified by bending the elbows so that the hands are approximately at eye level.
Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from "An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians," Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.