I don’t know if you have given much thought to this or not, but our physical posture during prayer can positively affect our mentality during prayer. Our posture in prayer can help clear our minds of frivolous thoughts. Allow me to share six ways we can pray with purpose using poses and our posture.
The first one is probably the most common – we just pray with our mind while engaged in other activities. This might be the one we are apt to thumb our noses at because it seems the least spiritual of all the others, but I love it. Why? I love it proves that NOBODY can EVER take prayer away from us.
Bibles can be removed. Churches can be outlawed. Fellowships with other Christians can be banned. BUT, my conversation with God can NEVER be taken away – Hallelujah, and Amen!
I can carry on a conversation on with the very person persecuting me, AND simultaneously be having a conversation with my heavenly Father – awesome!
What am I to do? I will pray with my spirit, but I will pray with my mind also; I will sing praise with my spirit, but I will sing with my mind also. 1 Corinthians 14:15 ESV
The second way we can pray is how the Bible records the saints praying…with arms outstretched. This began with Moses.
Moses said to him, “As soon as I have gone out of the city, I will stretch out my hands to the Lord. The thunder will cease, and there will be no more hail, so that you may know that the earth is the Lord’s. Exodus 9:29
As well as Solomon…
Then Solomon stood before the altar of the Lord in the presence of all the assembly of Israel and spread out his hands toward heaven, I Kings 8:22.
Have you ever tried praying with your hands lifted toward Heaven? I find that there is something very empowering about it.
Thirdly, there is the posture of laying prostrate, as first mentioned of Abraham,
Then Abram fell on his face. And God said to him, Genesis 17:3
And so did Daniel…
Then I heard the sound of his words, and as I heard the sound of his words, I fell on my face in deep sleep with my face to the ground. Daniel 10:9
And while they were striking, and I was left alone, I fell upon my face, and cried, “Ah, Lord God! Will you destroy all the remnant of Israel in the outpouring of your wrath on Jerusalem?” Ezekiel 9:8.
As well as God’s people…
And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces and said, “The Lord, he is God; the Lord, he is God.” 1 Kings 18:39.
To me, this is the most humbling posture. It demonstrates my total dependence on God. It says I am nothing without You!
AND…Number 4 – What about Tebowing???
Personally, I have never took this posture; it just seems too manly for a girl like me. But, I love Tim Tebow, and hey, with Timmy back on a team, we may be seeing more of this soon!
Sorry, I digress.
I. LOVE. how King David prayed sitting before the Lord, which is number 5, as God was telling him how he planned to bless his family and their future.
Then King David went in and sat before the LORD, and he said: “Who am I, Sovereign LORD, and what is my family, that you have brought me this far? 2 Samuel 7:18 NIV
I think this is the most intimate way to pray. It is as if David and God were just sitting around having a conversation with one another, doesn’t it? It also reminds me of Dennis Jernigan’s If I Could Just Sit with You Awhile – Enjoy!
The sixth physical posture we can take is also a very common pose. Have you ever wondered why we pray with folded hands? Where is that pose in the scriptures? It’s not, but this is why we do it – we are mimicking the rituals of a medieval commendation ceremony. “The purpose of the commendation was to make a chosen person a vassal of a lord.”
The would-be vassal appeared bareheaded and weaponless as a sign of his submission to the will of the lord and knelt before him. The vassal would clasp his hands before him in the ultimate sign of submission, the typical Christian prayer pose, and would stretch his clasped hands outward to his lord.
The lord in turn grasped the vassal’s hands between his own, showing he was the superior in the relationship, a symbolic act known variously as the immixtio manuum (Source: Wikipedia)
I like this description so much, it makes me want to always clasp my hands when I pray!
I challenge you to try all of these physical poses and postures this week while you pray at various times. Who knows? It just may rejuvenate your prayer life.
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Award-winning author Gina Duke is a wife, mom and the Director of Women’s Ministry at her local church. With a B.S. in Organizational Leadership, she is able to bring a clear word for authentic Christian living. Through her book, “Organizing Your Prayer Closet: A New and Life-Changing Way to Pray” (Abingdon Press), she imparts 1 Peter 4:7 with the gift of structured prayer journaling. If you would like to schedule Gina to speak on prayer or host a prayer journaling workshop, click here for more information. You may also follow her on Twitter and Instagram @TheGinaDuke.
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