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Kneeling To Pray

QUESTION: Kneeling to pray - What is the significance?


Kneeling to pray has been practiced for centuries. Some of the questions that we may have in our minds about prayerful positions may be:
  • How kneeling to pray began?
  • Is kneeling required by God?
  • Can kneeling be found in the Bible?
  • Did Jesus ever kneel to pray?
One thought about the origin of kneeling to pray comes from the practice of kneeling before a king in petition for a request. This tradition was a symbol of humbleness and honor when coming before a king or ruler. In recognition and honor to God, it may have been the appropriate position to come before Him.

The Bible shows us many positions for prayer. We read in the Bible that Jesus did kneel when He prayed. Jesus was accompanied by His disciples as they prayed on the Mount of Olives. There were also times He prayed in a standing position as the disciples asked Him to teach them how to pray. Jesus instructed them in what we call the Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13). “There he told them, ‘Pray that you will not be overcome by temptation.’ He walked away, about a stone's throw, and knelt down and prayed” (Luke 22:40-41).

Sometimes prayer is spontaneous and takes a variety of physical positions. All of these examples illustrate acceptable ways of prayer. Scripture commands us to proclaim God's greatness by means of our bodies. Here are a few additional examples of ways God is pleased with our worship.
  • Some danced and sang their prayers as Miriam did (Exodus 15:20).
  • The Israelites bowed their heads in gratitude and worship (Exodus 12:27).
  • Job fell to the ground to petition God (Job 1:20).
  • The Levites stood and praised the Lord with a loud shout (2 Chronicles 20:19).
  • “For the choir director: A psalm of the descendants of Korah. Come, everyone, and clap your hands for joy! Shout to God with joyful praise!” (Psalm 47:1).
  • “Come, let us worship and bow down. Let us kneel before the LORD our maker” (Psalm 95:6).
  • “Praise his name with dancing, accompanied by tambourine and harp” (Psalm 149:3). “So wherever you assemble, I want men to pray with holy hands lifted up to God, free from anger and controversy” (1 Timothy 2:8).
We see clapping, shouting, kneeling, dancing, playing instruments, standing in awe, raising hands, and lying down. Clearly all these actions are acceptable and appropriate in the worship of God. God is pleased and hears our prayers no matter how we pray. The important thing is that we come to Him in humbleness with a sincere heart and not in a showy fashion.

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What do you think?
We have all sinned and deserve God’s judgment. God, the Father, sent His only Son to satisfy that judgment for those who believe in Him. Jesus, the creator and eternal Son of God, who lived a sinless life, loves us so much that He died for our sins, taking the punishment that we deserve, was buried, and rose from the dead according to the Bible. If you truly believe and trust this in your heart, receiving Jesus alone as your Savior, declaring, "Jesus is Lord," you will be saved from judgment and spend eternity with God in heaven.

What is your response?

Yes, I want to follow Jesus

I am a follower of Jesus

I still have questions

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