When I was a kid in my little country church, kneeling to pray on cushions at the altar was a regular thing. At the time, I didn’t fully grasp why everyone was kneeling. While observing this practice, my mind would often wander to what everyone was praying about for so long. I knew if I knelt there I wouldn’t last for thirty seconds. In no time I would be peeking around to see if others were done and leaving so I could do that too.
As I grew up and desired to spend more time in God’s presence, I still never gave much thought to the importance of kneeling before God. But recently I started doing some reading on prayer and one of the first things I came across was the different postures of prayer. One of the most common being kneeling.
In several instances in the Bible, we see different persons kneeling before God when they were seeking his presence.
In Ephesians 3:14, Paul spoke to the Ephesians reminding them of his calling to bring the message of the gospel to the Gentiles then he knelt to pray for them.
In Daniel 6:10, after King Darius issued the decree that anyone who prayed to another King or God would be thrown into the lions den. Daniel ignored him and knelt and prayed to God.
In Acts 21:5, we see Paul about to travel to Jerusalem, leaving the people he had been ministering to but before he did, he knelt to pray for them. These are only a few of many instances.
As much as the act of kneeling is important, what matters most is the posture of the heart. When we kneel before God, it is a sign of a heart that is surrender to his will. Anyone can kneel but when we kneel before the father our hearts should be saying let your kingdom come, let your will be done.
A friend of mine recently shared with me that she was going through a rough time. She is a praise and worship leader at her church. One Sunday morning while wrestling with her pain and worshiping, she felt the Holy Spirit beckoning to her to kneel and worship.She came up with all sorts of excuses not to kneel, but the Holy Spirit was relentless. She was thinking about how she would look and whether anyone else was kneeling. She ignored the prompting of the Holy Spirit. But God has a way of bringing us to obedience.
Shortly after, another worship leader vocalized what the Holy Spirit had been saying to her. She told me she had never dropped to her knees so fast because she couldn’t believe the Holy Spirit had called her out.
In that moment, it wasn’t so much about the kneeling but a matter of surrendering her concerns to God. After this surrender, she experienced unbelievable peace. The situation was not magically removed but she became confident that God would work it out and he did.
All God wants is a heart that is willing to let go of how we want to handle our difficulties and allow him to solve them as he sees fit.