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Postures of Prayer 25th July, 2007

Posted by Scotty in Prayer.
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images1.jpgI’ve been experimenting a lot recently with different postures of prayer. Over the last couple of years God has been increasing my love for prayer. I’ve come to realise just how vital it is in all areas of our walk with God.

In several of the missionary biographies that I’ve read I have found myself intrigues by the descriptions of the methods of prayer. Hudson Taylor, D.E. Hoste, George Muller, Billy Graham (and more)… mention that they often found it difficult to stay focussed during times of prayer, and so they eventually chose to pace back and forth, praying out loud in order to maintain their focus. It’s truly amazing how much this helps! I began experimenting with this in Poland while reading the D.E.Hoste Biography, and I saw my prayer effectiveness increase dramatically.

At the church leadership meeting, as we worked through the Billy Graham book, our worship pastor, Andy Ashworth, brought up a section where Billy Graham was lying in the dirty, prostrate on the ground in prayer. As I thought back through the biographies and many biblical narratives I was struck by how many times I read about this posture of prayer. And so this week I have been exploring this avenue.

Having these things on my mind I have been rather embarassed  at the way I have been approaching prayer. Most often at prayer meetings, I sit comfortably sprawled or slouched on my chair. Over this last month, when I’ve been contemplating postures of prayer I’ve been rather annoyed at myself about how flippant that feels. Several times prayer has begun and I’ve thought about how I was sitting and felt almost like I was disrespecting God, and would change position to sit upright, kneel by the chair, pace around, or lay flat out on the floor. And it’s amazing how different the prayer times have been, by making a conscious effort to honour God even in the posture I choose to pray in.

(Now for a disclaimer. This is an entirely personal pursuit. I’m in no way condemning people for praying as they sit in whatever informal manner they choose! The important thing is that you pray, not the way you sit!)

Living in a western world, where prayer is free and easy, we rob it of so much of it’s value:

If you had to pay £1,000,000 to pray, everyone would want to do it. But because it’s free, we don’t!

Praying without a solid biblical foundation causes us to lose a lot of the reverence that comes from realizing how difficult it was to approach God in Old Testament times, and how much Jesus really accomplished for us in the simple we can now come before the throne of God in prayer.

As I’ve taken new reverent postures of prayer, my love for prayer has increased, because it brings with it a fresh understanding of the significance of coming into God’s present to bear your heart before Him.

If you’re someone who struggles to keep focussed during times of prayer, or if you’re in a prayer time and suddenly find your mind wandering, stand up, take off your shoes (like Moses in Exodus 3 – it has the added benefit of keep your steps quiet so you don’t distract others!), slowly pace back and forth, and mutter your prayers under your breath instead of in your head. You’ll be amazed at how much easier it is to focus. Of course, because it’s more effective, Satan is very likely to try and put you off trying it! Don’t let him.

So… what do you look like when you enter God’s throne room? Does your physical appearance resemble the attitude of you heart? Do you lift your hands during prayer, as you sometimes might during song? Do you grasp how much easier Christ has made it for us to come to God? Is prayer a Priority in your life?

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1. jeremy - 25th July, 2007

Scotty,

I attend a Christian Meditation each week, and we either sit on the floor on mats or on tuffets that are just the right size. We settle into the word, a reading from scripture, and then we spend 30 minutes, in the group setting, mind you, in silent prayer – meditation.

Home prayer is different. I am told, that upon opening ones eyes in the morning, the first words to leave you when becoming conscious, are to God. I find the practice of getting on my knees in the morning and at night, reminds me of the reverence I have for God.

I have a string of prayer beads I carry with me when out of the house that keep me focused on prayer as I travel throughout my day. I pray for you – and your ministry – I hope that all will be given, because we have asked God genuinely.

Blessings
Jeremy

2. Mountain Rain « Work in Progress - 20th June, 2008

[…] He was a Man of Prayer… the book does a great job of showing the process of him realizing the importance of prayer in his life as he fought in the Spiritual Realm for the lives of the Lisu people. On almost every page there is a snippet of his prayer habits, be those rising early, using his travel time to talk to God, spending hours or days in prayer, fasting often, or finding a solitary place where he would go to pace back and forth and pray out loud (see my previous entry, Postures of Prayer). […]

3. Myra - 12th October, 2011

Thanks for this article. I was truly blessed. It reminded me of some things that I had forgotten. I am getting ready to start a prayer line and it added to what God has already put in me. God bless.


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