I was sneaking into the kitchen for a nighttime bowl of Cheerios when I noticed the door to my parents’ bedroom was slightly ajar. That’s when I caught sight of the two of them, my stately mother and proud father, their backs to me, kneeling by the bed – their faces prone on the daisy patterned bedspread.
This image is etched in my memory. Incongruous and profound — it revealed that my parents acknowledged dependence on God. The posture of kneeling accentuated submission to a power greater than themselves.
Kneeling prayer challenges the pompous notion that we can actually control one iota of our lives. We need God.
And God likes needy. Jesus said, “Blessed are those who are poor (in spirit) and realize their need for him.”
When Isaiah came face to face with the holiness of God, he bemoaned his abject sin. He lay prostrate – “Woe is me for I am a man of unclean lips.” (Isaiah 6:5)
The Old Testament prophet Micah said that the ultimate purpose of man, that which the Lord requires, is to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with God. (Micah 6:8)
Abraham, Daniel, David, Solomon, Peter, Paul, even Jesus himself bowed before God.
Such bowing or kneeling means we have come to the end of ourselves. Abraham Lincoln knew this all too well, “I have been driven many times upon my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had no where else to go. My own wisdom and that of all about me seemed insufficient for that day.”
In contrast, when I pray, my thoughts flit bird-like from praise and petition to laundry and shopping lists. I corral them through journaling but that too can veer into a to-do list.
Not very Isaiah like.
Now, recalling my parents, I am being intentional about kneeling when I pray – tucked in a secluded corner of the house – hiding from even Codie who inevitably finds me and lies prostrate nearby, channeling Isaiah I’m sure. This posture of humility helps me focus on what matters in life. And it’s not laundry.
The God who exists actually wants to connect with His people. He is not picky about the eloquence of our words – He may prefer sighs. Nor does He require a particular stance – He is OK with conversational prayer while driving or emptying the dishwasher.
What He wants from us is a humble heart.
And maybe to be more like sweet Codie.
Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker!