Posture of Prayer

Years ago a friend and I went through a Bible study together that challenged you to spend time in prayer on your knees with your face to the ground. Going over the study one week this friend asked me if I had prayed as the study encouraged us to, in that posture. I said I hadn't (like it was something not necessary, my stubbornness at its finest). Her face lit up as she simply said I have, "there's something about that posture". 

The stiffness of my stubborn heart and knees were softened from an overwhelming season in life and I can say from submitting my knees to the ground that there is something about that posture. I would love to say I have spent time on my knees every day since, but I have to battle my will of self-reliance by choosing to humbly place my dependence on Him - praying on my knees can do just that. Lowering myself yielded before the King places my heart in the same posture. 

"The Lord is near to all who call on Him, to all who call on Him in truth." Psalm 145:18

You'll find prayers in the Bible with different circumstances, content, request, results, and yes postures. 

The calling upon the name of God to summon His aid. Intercessory prayer, on behalf of someone else. To ask, request, beg, seeking by an inferior from a superior, request for something to be given.

It may be uncomfortable, unfamiliar and a bit awkward for you to interact with the Lord in a way that may be new or neglected, enter in anyways. May our knees show the wear of our desperation for Him. 

Consider your prayer life, position and posture from Colossians 3:1-3.

"If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things that are above, not on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God." Colossians 3:1-3

I died
My life is now hidden with Christ in God
I am raised with Christ
Christ is seated at the right hand of God
My mind is to be on things above

The right hand position of a king has his ear. Close nearness. The king leans in to listen. Jesus is at God's right hand, with His ear in attention to his intercession. I am hidden with Christ. He intercedes for me. I have the ear of the King. What am I doing with that? Consider your prayer time. What is the content and focus of that time? Self or making much of Christ and God’s will?

"If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land." 2 Chronicles 7:14

Look with me at just a few of these postures from studying different prayers, circumstances, request, response, and posture:

Jacob wrestled with God, endured, and clung to Him asking for a blessing until he received it (Genesis 32:24-30). 

Hannah poured out her heart to God as a drink offering on her knees, silently praying her earnest desires (1 Samuel 1:10-20). 

David sat down before the Lord with such intimacy, humility, and gentle reverence (2 Samuel 7:18-29). 

Hezekiah spreads the very pages of a letter he receives from a threatening king before the Lord. He acknowledges the Lord's majesty, power, personal care, attention to His people, and asks Him for deliverance (2 Kings 19:14-19). 

Jehoshaphat led the people to seek the Lord corporately in prayer and fasting when a vast army was coming to attack. You see his posture in v.18 bowed down with his face to the ground in response (2 Chronicles 20:3-30). 

Manasseh's imprisonment broke him that he "humbled himself greatly before God" (v.12) that his prayer moved God even after the evil he had done and delivered him and this changed his life (2 Chronicles 33).

Ezra's concern for the people broke his heart when he saw sin. He fell before the Lord after sitting in despair over sin (tore his clothes and pulled his hair). He sat appalled. He fell on his knees with his hands spreads out the Lord and prayed - this convicted and captured hearts to turn from their sin. Then he approached the people. He repented for past and present sins with no excuse (Ezra 9-10).

Nehemiah mourned, fasted, wept, and prayed for the condition of the people and Jerusalem (Nehemiah 1). As he later worked on restoring the wall in midst of threats and discouragement, he prayed, sought the Lord, and posted a guard. Prayer and planning - faith with request, action, and perseverance (Nehemiah 4:4)

Habakkuk prays for the praise of God, the power of God, and for the purpose of God, because of his faith in God (Habakkuk 3).

Jesus uses a parable of a Pharisee and a Tax Collector both stood praying before God, one boasting of his "righteousness" and the other stood far off not even able to look up, broken, acknowledging his need for forgiveness. Both men stood with very different postures of heart (Luke 18:9-14). 

Jesus often removed Himself to pray to the Father (Matthew 14:23; Mark 1:35; Luke 6:12; 22:41) and He spent time in desperation on His knees submitting Himself to the Father (Matthew 26:39).

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.” Matthew 7:7-8

Ask is a request with faith. 
Seek is an action with faith. 
Knock is perseverance with follow through in faith.

"The end of all things is near. Therefore be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray." 1 Peter 4:7

"As we touch a little of His will and thought we come to understand a little more of how He works and what He requires of us. So that gradually the will and thought of God which we have known and entered into becomes in us our prayer." Watchman Nee