Some people may see today’s discussion as a non-issue. “So what does it matter how I am positioned when I pray? Can’t God hear me just as well whether I am standing or sitting or laying in my bed?” Today’s lesson is really not about God’s ability to hear you, it is about your attitude when you come to Him. How many of you would, when going to visit the President would throw your feet up on his desk and kick back in your chair? “Hey what’s up G.B. haven’t talked to ya in a while!” No one would do that. Why? Because the President is in a position that demands respect. The problem is that many of us do the exact same thing to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. We lay in our beds or kick back in our seats and act as though we are doing God a favor by talking to Him. Now granted, there are many people that are very humble that do these things and they do not mean any disrespect to God when they pray. But are they being as respectful as they should be? Hopefully this lesson will help you to look into your own prayer life and see if you are showing God all the respect that He deserves. There are three main positions the Bible talks about that people used when coming before the Lord:
Mar 11:25 And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.
This was a very typical prayer position for the Jews. The Jews today still stand whenever they pray, except for twice a year. Usually though, when someone was standing it was either because the prayer was a prayer of praise to the Lord (typically the hands would have been raised) or they were very prideful (like the Pharisee in Matthew). Today this position is usually only used in public settings to make the person praying more visible and audible. Though some people will walk around as they pray claiming it helps them to focus.
Psa 95:6 O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the LORD our maker.
Kneeling has always been a sign of respect. When someone would come before royalty they would always kneel to show that they recognize that they are lesser than the person that they are addressing. When we kneel before God we demonstrate our humility and realizing that God is our Creator and Sustainer.
Num 20:6 And Moses and Aaron went from the presence of the assembly unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, and they fell upon their faces: and the glory of the LORD appeared unto them.
To be prostrate means to be lying on the ground on your face. Over and over in the Bible, when people came into the presence of the Lord, or the Angel of the Lord visited them they would throw themselves to the ground. In the book of Revelation, John the Baptist was taken into the presence of the Lord and he records that he “fell down as one dead”. So why would people do this? Is God so controlling that He would demand such a thing of His people? No, God never once demanded that an individual throw himself onto his face in order to worship the Lord. What we see in every one of these cases are people as they come closer to the Lord then they have ever been becoming more aware than ever of their own unworthiness. As we draw closer the brilliant light of God we become more and more aware of the filthiness in our own lives, this was what caused these people to fall on their faces before God.
To sum up today’s lesson. The position of your prayer really is more about your attitude than it is about your actual position. You may think that you are coming to God humbly when you recline back on your couch and pray but let me ask you to search your heart and see if you are really showing God the respect He is worthy of. Remember that as the many in the Bible came directly into God’s presence they were so overcome by it that they couldn’t even stand.
What about You?
- Are you really coming humbly before God when you pray and you just like to kick back, or are you so far from the light of the presence of God that it doesn’t bother you?
- Your position usually betrays your heart.