Friday, February 18, 2011
The Position of Prayer
Act 21:4 And finding disciples, we tarried there seven days: who said to Paul through the Spirit, that he should not go up to Jerusalem. 5 And when we had accomplished those days, we departed and went our way; and they all brought us on our way, with wives and children, till we were out of the city: and we kneeled down on the shore, and prayed.
This presents to our mind a beautiful picture. Sailing into Tyre, the evangelists had found disciples and spent a week with them. When the time had come for departure, they went to the Mediterranean shore, knelt there and prayed together. Picture them kneeling there, arms about each other, thanking and praising God and imploring Heaven’s blessing on their endeavors for Christ.
Special occasions call for special prayer. The kneeling together added an exclamation point to the poignancy of their fellowship, leave-taking and mission.
Is kneeling the only way to pray? I would hope not, otherwise, those with very bad knees would be challenged in their prayer lives. The fact is, that Bible prayers supply us with all types of positions in prayer. Jesus lifted His eyes heavenward to pray, the publican looked toward the ground and smote on his breast while addressing the Lord. Some knelt, others sat, some stood. Some prayed with opened eyes, while others closed their eyes, avoiding distraction. Heads are sometimes bowed, other times, not.
Is one position in prayer more correct than the other? I believe that culture, custom and appropriateness all have a direct bearing on the way we pray. The main thing is that our hearts bow in reverence to the Lord when we pray.
Since Paul said that we ought to pray without ceasing. It would be hard to bow while driving, or working.
So, we find that it is not really the position of our bodies, eyes or heads that is important, but the inclination of our hearts. It is not whether we pray standing, sitting or kneeling, but that we pray!
I challenge you to consciously spend a significant amount of time in an attitude of prayer today.