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Why Kneel When You Pray?

Teenagers can be stubborn sometimes. (And all the parents say, “Amen!”) I was one of those teens. If you don’t’ believe me just ask my very patient and gracious mother. Once I had my way of doing things, there was no need for changing it. Considering another variable was not an option.

I vividly remember the day my stubbornness was tested in quite an unusual way. I was sitting one evening at my desk in my room, having my alone time with God. It was where I had always had my devotions: my Bible and my journal all laid out in front of me. That day, as I began to pray, something strange came over me.

I was sitting in my chair, and as I started talking to God, I was immediately interrupted by His voice. The Holy Spirit seemed to say to me, “Tyler, pray on your knees.”

Of course I was a little dumbfounded by such an odd phrase that I just continued with my prayer. The very next moment God froze my words in their tracks, and I literally could not think of another thing to say. He again asked if I would kneel before Him in prayer.

There was something in me that deeply churned, and I promise it wasn’t indigestion. A battle of the wills had ensued and I was bound and determined to win it. Everything within me did not want to obey His simple request. I fought and I fought, trying to “get on” with my devotions, hoping God would forget it. But His tender bidding would not silence. In fact it became louder and louder, until finally I stood up from my seat to “clear my head.” I wish I could tell you that I knelt that day. But like a stubborn mule I did not budge. The pricking of the Holy Spirit had faded away, and now that I “cleared my head,” I could get on with my ritualistic way of doing things. I had my devotions that day, but I’m not sure I met with God.

Thinking back on that day, I reasoned why God had asked that of me. And honestly the answer is simple. I believe that God wished to humble me. I was so stuck in a rut, and God wanted to bring me out; but my pride would not let Him have His way. It wasn’t that the ground itself was more special than my chair; it was that the posture of my heart that needed to change.

James 4:10 says, “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.”

There is something most precious when a man altars his disposition before God. It is a realization of the reverence owed to God’s presence. A posture in which the heart of man is radically changed!

Is kneeling to pray a requirement of true intercession? No. But it is certainly a consistent posture of our Lord’s communion with His Father. Luke 22:40-41 tells us, “And when he was at the place, he said unto them, Pray that ye enter not into temptation. And he was withdrawn from them about a stone’s cast, and kneeled down, and prayed,”

If the Son of Man humbled Himself, I must be willing to do the same. There is something special about a “certain place” where aman meets with God in complete solitude. A secret place that should be secret to no man. A holy ground that drives a man to know his God.

God help us to never forsake the humbling posture of prayer. 1Peter 5:6, “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:”

“You can do more than pray after you have prayed but you cannot do more than pray until you have prayed” S. D. Gorden.


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